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Game Day Preview

by Staff Writer / Toronto Maple Leafs
GAME: Montreal Canadiens (21-22-7-5) at Toronto Maple Leafs (29-20-4-1).

TIME: Saturday, 7 p.m. EST.

The Toronto Maple Leafs look for their season-best fifth straight win, while the Montreal Canadiens try to avoid tying their season-high losing streak at four when the teams meet for the fourth time this season.

Toronto began a stretch of four straight contests away from home on Jan. 29, and recorded victories over Carolina and Atlanta before All-Star weekend. The Leafs returned from the break and beat Florida on Wednesday before winning 3-2 in overtime against Tampa Bay on Thursday.

Toronto trailed 2-1 heading into the third period, but Mikael Renberg tied it at 3:53 of the period before Nik Antropov scored a rebound goal with 1:11 left in overtime.

Alex Mogilny, Mats Sundin and Nik Antropov are on fire as a unit
Graig Abel Photography
Trevor Kidd played for the first time since Jan. 18, and made 34 saves as Toronto's goalies continued their strong play. The Leafs have allowed just six goals during their four-game run, and have given up more than three scores just once in their last 10 contests.

"We had great goaltending," Toronto coach Pat Quinn said. "Trevor was outstanding for not having a lot of action lately." The Leafs, who have lost two straight at home after going 12-0-1 in their previous 13 games at Air Canada Centre, haven't won five in a row since Dec. 6-15 of last season.

Montreal lost its last game prior to the break, and has returned with two straight losses, including a 6-3 defeat at Boston on Thursday. The Canadiens lost a season-high four in a row from Nov. 29-Dec. 6.

Montreal is 3-3-2-1 since coach Claude Julien replaced the fired Michel Therrien on Jan. 17. The Canadiens had won just two of 12 before Julien took over, and are now in a tight race with the New York Islanders and Lightning for eighth place in the Eastern Conference.

The Leafs and Canadiens conclude their season series on Feb. 22 in Montreal.

Canadiens - 54 points, 4th place, 20 PB, Northeast Division.
Maple Leafs - 63 points, 2nd place, 11 PB, Northeast Division.

Canadiens - Richard Zednik, 24 goals; Saku Koivu, 37 assists and 52 points; Randy McKay, 66 PIM.
Maple Leafs - Mats Sundin, 24 goals; Alexander Mogilny, 32 assists and 54 points; Tie Domi, 112 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS (through Feb. 6):
Canadiens - Power play: 16.1 percent (37 for 230), 16th in NHL. Penalty killing: 79.2 percent (175 for 221), 29th.
Maple Leafs - Power play: 18.0 percent (44 for 244), 10th. Penalty killing: 87.7 percent (242 for 276), 2nd.

Canadiens - Jose Theodore (14-19-5, 1 SO, 3.01 GAA); Mathieu Garon (no appearances).
Maple Leafs - Ed Belfour (24-14-3, 6, 2.09); Kidd (4-6-1, 3.29).


LAST MEETING: Jan. 18; Maple Leafs 3-2, OT. At Montreal, after the Canadiens tied it with 7:06 left in regulation, Antropov scored 56 seconds into overtime as the Leafs spoiled Julien's NHL debut.

Canadiens - 9-13-3-3 on the road
Maple Leafs - 16-9-2-0 at home.
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