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At the Rink blog

Leafs dealing with illness, winless streak

Sunday, 01.12.2014 / 1:02 PM

By Joe Yerdon - NHL.com Correspondent / 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

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2013-2014 At the Rink Blog
Leafs dealing with illness, winless streak

TORONTO – The Toronto Maple Leafs have more than a four-game winless streak and the New Jersey Devils to contend with Sunday at Air Canada Centre. They're also battling illness.

According to Maple Leafs coach Randy Carlyle, forwards Tyler Bozak and Jerry D'Amigo, defensemen Mark Fraser and Tim Gleason, and goalie James Reimer all missed the morning skate with some kind of sickness.

"There's either a flu bug or food poisoning," Carlyle said. "There's just too many of them under the weather and having the same symptoms. We don't quite have a finger on exactly what it is. We think that there's people that weren't skating this morning that will be available to us tonight."

The Maple Leafs need a win and come off a 3-2 loss against the Washington Capitals on Thursday. They're hoping they can build off the things they did right in that game.

"There's always going to be pressure," forward Joffrey Lupul said. "Certainly you don't want to fall too far out of the playoff race. Honestly, right now we feel a little bit better about ourselves than we have the past couple games. We think we've put some good periods together. But again, it's all about wins and losses, so we've got to find a way to get a win tonight."

Toronto has allowed 21 goals during its winless streak. Since Jonathan Bernier was the only goalie on the ice for the morning skate, it's expected he'll get the start against New Jersey.

The Devils held an optional skate in which only forwards Cam Janssen, Jacob Josefson and Andrei Loktionov participated with goalie Martin Brodeur. Those three forwards are expected to be scratches against the Maple Leafs and they'll play seven defensemen.

Devils coach Pete DeBoer announced after the Devils' 2-1 overtime win against the Florida Panthers on Saturday that Cory Schneider would start against Toronto. Schneider will make his third straight start and has allowed one goal in his past two games.

As for the lineups, here's how they may look:

MAPLE LEAFS

James van RiemsdykTyler BozakPhil Kessel

Mason RaymondNazem KadriJoffrey Lupul

Nikolai KuleminJay McClementDavid Clarkson

Jerry D'AmigoCarter AshtonColton Orr

Carl GunnarssonDion Phaneuf

Tim GleasonCody Franson

Jake GardinerMorgan Rielly

Jonathan Bernier

James Reimer

Scratched: Paul Ranger, Frazer McLaren, Mark Fraser

Injured: Dave Bolland (IR – cut tendon), Trevor Smith (IR – broken arm)

DEVILS

Dainius ZubrusTravis ZajacJaromir Jagr

Ryane CloweAdam HenriqueMichael Ryder

Ryan CarterStephen GiontaSteve Bernier

Reid BoucherMike SisloEric Gelinas (D)

Andy GreeneMark Fayne

Bryce SalvadorAnton Volchenkov

Jon MerrillMarek Zidlicky

Cory Schneider

Martin Brodeur

Scratched: Andrei Loktionov, Cam Janssen, Jacob Josefson

Injured: Patrik Elias (IR – body), Damien Brunner (IR – knee), Peter Harrold (IR – foot)

Quote of the Day

[He's] real confident with the puck now, getting it off his stick quick and no second-guessing. We need that. He's such a good guy in the room. He works so hard. That's the big thing. For not a big man, he just fights for every puck and when he scores, the guys appreciate that even more.

— Winnipeg Jets coach Paul Maurice on Mathieu Perreault, who scored two goals in win against Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday