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Game Day Preview

by Staff Writer / Toronto Maple Leafs
GAME: Toronto Maple Leafs (22-15-4-1) at New York Rangers (21-15-4-1).

TIME: Monday, 7 p.m. EST.

The New York Rangers are hoping Petr Nedved's return to the lineup can continue giving them some much-needed momentum.

Nedved and the Rangers look to win consecutive games for the first time in over a month as they host the Toronto Maple Leafs at Madison Square Garden.

New York is 4-6-2 over its last 12 games, and has not put together a winning streak since Dec. 1-3.

Nedved is tied with Pavel Bure for the team lead in goals with 14. The veteran center missed four straight games with a hip injury before returning to the lineup on Saturday.

Nik Antropov expects to be in the lineup against the Rangers.
Graig Abel Photography
Nedved scored twice and Matthew Barnaby added a goal as the Rangers snapped an eight-game losing streak at Mellon Arena with a 3-1 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins.

"I can't remember the last time we played a game here like we did today," said Nedved, who had his first two-goal game since the season opener.

"We've been playing hard, and it was really nice to get those first-period goals." Goaltender Mike Dunham stopped 27 shots to improve to 5-5-2 since being acquired from Nashville in December. Bobby Holik assisted on Barnaby's goal to extend his scoring streak to eight games (5-6-11).

Tom Poti, the Rangers' leading scorer, left the game in the first period with a neck strain after taking a check in his own zone. He could not turn his head to his left after the game, and his status for Monday's game against Toronto is uncertain.

Poti leads New York with 27 assists and 32 points.

The Maple Leafs had won three in a row before Saturday's 6-2 loss to the Boston Bruins. Alexander Mogilny had two second-period goals, but it wasn't enough as Toronto was outscored 4-0 over the final 20 minutes.

"We played terribly in the third period," Toronto's Darcy Tucker said.

Maple Leafs goaltender Ed Belfour made 27 saves, but allowed five of the six Boston goals. Belfour's goals-against average jumped from 1.99 to 2.07.

STANDINGS: Maple Leafs - 49 points, 2nd place (tied), 11 PB, Northeast Division. Rangers - 41 points, 5th place, 14 PB, Atlantic Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Maple Leafs - Mogilny, 20 goals, 28 assists and 48 points; Tie Domi, 81 PIM. Rangers - Nedved and Bure, 14 goals; Poti, 27 assists and 32 points; Eric Lindros, 87 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS (through Jan. 12): Maple Leafs - Power play: 20.4 percent (40 for 196), 4th in NHL. Penalty killing: 86.9 percent (193 for 122), 2nd. Rangers - Power play: 15.7 percent (32 for 204), 18th (tied). Penalty killing: 81.3 percent (191 for 235), 24th.

GOALTENDERS: Maple Leafs - Belfour (20-12-3, 5 SO, 2.07 GAA); Trevor Kidd (2-5-1, 3.74). Rangers - Dunham (7-14-4, 1 SO, 2.84 GAA); Dan Blackburn (7-11-3, 1, 3.20).

SEASON SERIES: Rangers, 2-1.

LAST MEETING: Dec. 14; Maple Leafs, 4-1. At Toronto, Mats Sundin had a goal and an assist as Toronto rebounded after losing its first two meetings with New York.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Maple Leafs - 7-9-2-1 on the road; Rangers - 10-12-3-0 at home.
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