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Surging Maple Leafs begin road trip against Coyotes

Sunday, 01.19.2014 / 12:01 PM

MAPLE LEAFS (25-20-5) AT COYOTES (23-16-9)

TV: LEAFS TV, FS-A

Last 10: Toronto 6-4-0; Phoenix 4-6-0

Season series: This is the second of two games between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Phoenix Coyotes. James Reimer made 34 saves in Toronto's 2-1 shootout victory on Dec. 19.

Big story: Toronto arrives to Phoenix on a season-high four-game winning streak. The game against the Coyotes starts a four-game road trip in six days for the Maple Leafs, who are 8-10-4 away from Air Canada Centre.

Team Scope:

Maple Leafs: Toronto broke a 3-3 tie with the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday night with a late third-period goal before adding an empty netter in a 5-3 victory. Although the Maple Leafs scored once in the first, they had 12 shots on goal and one of their better starts to a game this season.

"We haven't started that strong in a while. We continued to push the game and continued to push the pace of the game. Throughout the whole night, we elevated our game," Maple Leafs captain Dion Phaneuf said.

Nazem Kadri had two assists to go along with five big hits in the win that put the Maple Leafs within four points of the third-place Canadiens in the Atlantic Division.

"The magnitude of this game was huge. For us to chase that top spot in the division is still a realistic goal for us and we knew we had to come out and play against a very good team" Kadri said.

Coyotes: Phoenix got 34 saves from Mike Smith in a 3-2 victory against the New Jersey Devils on Saturday and won two games in a row for the first time in almost six weeks. The Coyotes have not won three straight since a five-game winning streak from Oct. 26 to Nov. 5.

"Usually to win consecutive games, you have to play well in consecutive games so that's a positive sign for us," coach Dave Tippet said.

Martin Hanzal's power play goal in the second period turned out to be the game winner. The Coyotes have scored a power play goal in seven straight games.

"I thought we got pucks to the net. You get a few breaks here and there…one ended up being a big goal for us," Tippet said.

Who's hot: Maple Leafs forward Phil Kessel has a five-game point scoring streak (three goals, seven assists). Forward James van Riemsdyk has a goal in four of his past five games. … Coyotes defenseman Keith Yandle has four assists in three games. Smith has allowed four goals in three games, good for a .951 save percentage.

Injury report: Maple Leafs forwards David Clarkson (elbow) Dave Bolland (ankle surgery) and Trevor Smith (broken hand) are on injured reserve. ... The Coyotes have no reported injuries.

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