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Phaneuf returns as Leafs visit Flames

Wednesday, 12.15.2010 / 11:45 PM / Schedule

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Phaneuf returns as Leafs visit Flames
It's been nearly 11 months since the Calgary Flames dealt their best defenseman, Dion Phaneuf, to Toronto in a blockbuster trade. On Thursday night, Phaneuf will set foot on the ice at Scotiabank Saddledome for the first time ever as a visiting player when he and the Leafs come to town.

Toronto began its Western Canada road trip on Tuesday with a 4-1 win at Edmonton. The Flames have been off for two days since their 3-2 overtime victory against Columbus on Monday.

The game is one of nine on Thursday's NHL schedule -- and one of two that start at 9:30 p.m. ET. Both are in Alberta -- in the other, the Oilers host Columbus, which lost 3-2 in overtime at Vancouver on Wednesday.

The evening's action gets under way with four games at 7 p.m. ET.

Anaheim, a 2-1 winner at Washington on Wednesday, travels to Long Island. The Islanders have lost 20 of their last 21 games, including Monday's 5-0 loss at Nashville. Phoenix follows its 3-0 loss at New Jersey on Wednesday with a visit to Madison Square Garden, where the Rangers are home after Wednesday's 4-1 victory at Pittsburgh. Also, Carolina moves on from Wednesday's 4-3 win at Florida to visit Atlanta. The Thrashers are home after losing 2-1 at Tampa Bay in a shootout.

At 7:30, Boston visits Montreal in a battle of two teams coming off losses on Wednesday. The Bruins were beaten 3-2 at Buffalo, while the Canadiens lost 5-3 at home to Philadelphia. That game can be seen on the NHL Network in the United States and on CBC and RDS in Canada.

Two more games face off at 8 p.m. ET. Los Angeles, coming off a 5-0 win at Detroit on Monday, visits St. Louis, where the Blues will try to rebound after a 5-2 road loss to the Wings on Wednesday. Also, Ottawa visits Minnesota, which has been off since a 6-2 loss at Anaheim on Sunday. The Senators haven't played since a 4-3 overtime loss to Atlanta on Monday. A half-hour later, San Jose, a 3-2 loser at Nashville on Wednesday, travels to Dallas. The Stars have been off since a 3-2 shootout win at San Jose on Monday.
Quote of the Day

Obviously there's a lot of expectations around me but it's something I try not to focus on. I'm just trying to go out there, be myself on the ice every day, try to get better, be myself around the guys in the locker room. I think that's what's made me successful and the person that I am.

— Sabres forward Jack Eichel on transitioning from college hockey to the NHL