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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

It's really exciting. I'm pretty sure that when I play my first game I'm going to be emotional. To be back on the ice playing a game, being in game situations, with all the routines and rituals I do before games and during the game, I feel like I'm going to be emotional. I'm going to be really happy.

— Montreal Canadiens forward Tim Bozon on playing for the first time since his life-threaning illness