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Game Day Preview

by Staff Writer / Toronto Maple Leafs
GAME: Philadelphia Flyers (26-11-8-1) at Toronto Maple Leafs (25-17-4-1).

TIME: Tuesday, 7:30 p.m. EST.

The Toronto Maple Leafs put their hopes in the pads of young goaltender Mikael Tellqvist as they try to extend their home unbeaten streak to 14 games in a matchup with the Philadelphia Flyers.

The Leafs haven't lost at Air Canada Centre in more than two months, going 12-0-1 there since a 2-1 loss to the Detroit Red Wings on Nov.16.

This is the team's longest unbeaten run at home since a 14-game streak during the 1970-71 season.

Ed Belfour will miss his third straight game with back spasms. The Leafs won both contests on the road without him -- at Washington and Montreal -- to extend their winning streak to three games.
Mikael Tellqvist will make his first career start tonight.
Davew Sandford /NHLI/ GettyImages

Backup Trevor Kidd is also hurting with a groin injury and not close giving the Leafs no option other than calling up Jamie Hodson to backup Tellqvist.

Leading scorer Alexander Mogilny is likely to play while forward Tom Fitzgerald and defenseman Jyrki Lumme are aiming at Friday's game in Buffalo. Gary Roberts also skated with the team for the first time since summer shoulder surgeries during the morning skate.

Tellqvist made his NHL debut when he replaced an injured Kidd in the third period on Saturday, and stopped nine of 10 shots as the Leafs beat the Canadiens 3-2 in overtime.

Toronto would have liked to have Belfour in net Tuesday because he has been very good against Philadelphia this season. He beat the Flyers 6-0 and 3-0 this season, and had a shutout streak of 167 minutes, 10 seconds against them before giving up a pair in the final period in a 2-1 loss to Philadelphia on Dec. 12.

The Flyers also are riding a three-game winning streak after beating the New York Rangers 4-2 on Sunday. They have won nine of 10, and are 5-0 on the road over that span.

Philadelphia showed on Sunday why it is an Eastern Conference-best 14-6-3-0 away from home this season.

The Flyers were outshot 18-8 and outscored 2-0 in the first period against the Rangers, but Keith Primeau scored the tying goal in the second period and added an empty-netter in the final minute after receiving a tongue-lashing from coach Ken Hitchcock at the first intermission.

"He challenged my line, me personally, and I deserved it because we weren't very good in the first period," Primeau said. "It was an open challenge to the whole club and we responded."

STANDINGS (through Jan. 19): Flyers - 61 points, 1st place, Atlantic Division. Maple Leafs - 55 points, 2nd place, 11 PB, Northeast Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Flyers - Jeremy Roenick, 15 goals and 32 points; Kim Johnsson, 19 assists; Donald Brashear, 92 PIM. Maple Leafs - Mogilny and Mats Sundin, 20 goals; Mogilny, 29 assists and 49 points; Tie Domi, 94 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS (through Jan. 19): Flyers - Power play: 12.4 percent (24 for 194), 27th in NHL. Penalty killing: 82.1 percent (170 for 207), 20th. Maple Leafs - Power play: 18.7 percent (40 for 214), 7th. Penalty killing: 87.3 percent (207 for 237), 2nd.

GOALTENDERS: Flyers - Roman Cechmanek (17-10-5, 1 SO, 2.04 GAA); Robert Esche (9-2-3, 2, 2.01). Maple Leafs - Belfour (21-12-3, 5, 2.07); Kidd (3-6-1, 3.43), Tellqvist (1-0-0-0, 0, 4.00).

SEASON SERIES: Maple Leafs, 2-1.

LAST MEETING: Dec. 12; Flyers, 2-1. At Philadelphia, Simon Gagne and Eric Desjardins scored 1:02 apart midway through the third period to lead the Flyers.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Flyers - 14-6-3-0 on the road; Maple Leafs - 16-7-2-0 at home.
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