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Gameday Preview

by Staff Writer / Toronto Maple Leafs
GAME: Toronto Maple Leafs (17-14-4-0) at Calgary Flames (10-17-5-3).

TIME: Friday, 10 p.m. EST.

The Toronto Maple Leafs, one of the league's best home teams, will try to translate that success on the road as they open a four-game trip against the Calgary Flames.

Alexander Mogilny's 17th career hat trick and another strong performance from goaltender Ed Belfour helped the Maple Leafs extend their home unbeaten streak to 10 games with a 5-1 victory over the Atlanta Thrashers on Monday.

Toronto, which is 9-0-1 at Air Canada Centre since a 2-1 loss to Detroit on Nov. 16, leads the NHL with 13 home wins.
Tie Domi looks to lead the Leafs past the Flames.
Graig Abel Photography

The road hasn't been nearly as kind to the Leafs, who are 4-7-2-0 away from Toronto, including a 1-3-1 mark in their last five.

Belfour has given Toronto a chance to win no matter the location. He has allowed just 15 goals in his last 11 games, and is among the league leaders in wins (16), goals-against average (1.95) and save percentage (.930).

"If it wasn't for Eddie, I don't know where we'd be," Mogilny said.

"We've got to ride him till he drops basically. We've just got to pray he stays healthy."

Toronto is unbeaten in a season high-tying four straight games (2-0-2).

Mogilny has four goals and five assists during that span.

Calgary completed a five-game trip with a 3-2 victory over the Minnesota Wild on Monday.

Jarome Iginla, Blake Sloan and Craig Berube scored for the Flames, who had been shut out by Columbus and Pittsburgh in their two previous games.

"We talked about playing tough, intense hockey," Berube said. "You're not going to win that way every night, but we did it tonight and it worked."

Calgary is 4-4-2 since Al MacNeil replaced head coach Greg Gilbert on an interim basis, though the team's offense continues to sputter. The Flames have scored three goals or fewer in 23 consecutive games, totaling nine during their 2-2-1 road trip.

STANDINGS (through Dec. 25): Maple Leafs - 38 points, 3rd place (tied), 7 PB, Northeast Division. Flames - 28 points, 5th place, 17 PB, Northwest Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Maple Leafs - Mats Sundin, 17 goals; Mogilny, 25 assists and 41 points; Tie Domi, 58 PIM. Flames - Craig Conroy, 10 goals; Chris Drury, 16 assists and 24 points; Scott Nichol, 84 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS (through Dec. 25): Maple Leafs - Power play: 19.4 percent (33 for 170), 7th in NHL. Penalty killing: 87.6 percent (163 for 186), 2nd. Flames - Power play: 11.2 percent (19 for 169), 28th. Penalty killing: 83.5 percent (137 for 164), T-16th.

GOALTENDERS: Maple Leafs - Belfour (16-9-3, 5 SO, 1.95 GAA); Trevor Kidd (1-5-1, 3.85). Flames - Roman Turek (8-12-4, 2, 2.68); Jamie McLennan (2-8-1, 2.71).

2001-02 SEASON SERIES: Tied, 1-1.

LAST MEETING: Jan. 22; Maple Leafs, 6-1. At Calgary, Mogilny had two goals and an assist to lead Toronto, which ended a five-game winless streak.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Maple Leafs - 4-7-2-0 on the road; Flames - 2-8-4-1 at home.

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