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Leafs Continue Western Swing At Edmonton

by Staff Writer / Toronto Maple Leafs
GAME: Toronto Maple Leafs (7-5-5-2) at Edmonton Oilers (9-7-2-0).

TIME: Thursday, 9 p.m. EST. Goaltender Ty Conklin is making the most of his playing time while Tommy Salo nurses a bruised hip.

He looks to help the Edmonton Oilers extend their season-high three-game winning streak when they host the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Skyreach Centre.

Conklin made 33 saves for his fourth win in five games in the Oilers' 5-2 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday.

"It's nice to get some shots early," said Conklin, who is sixth in the league with a 1.90 goals-against average. "You get a little feel for the puck and get into the game."

In his previous two starts, the 27-year-old Conklin made 22 saves for the first shutout of his career in a 2-0 win over Minnesota, then stopped 33 of 34 shots against Calgary in a 2-1 overtime victory. He has a .938 save percentage.

Salo struggled before he was placed on injured reserve Tuesday, going 4-5-2 with a 3.42 GAA and an .866 save percentage.

Edmonton has outscored its opponents 9-3 in the last three games. Radek Dvorak had two goals and an assist and Raffi Torres, Ethan Moreau and Jarrett Stoll also scored against the Blackhawks.

Adam Oates did not play Tuesday, one day after the 41-year-old veteran center signed a one-year, $1.95 million contract with the Oilers. He had nine goals and 36 assists for the Mighty Ducks last season.

Steve Staios, who signed a three-year contract extension with the Oilers Wednesday, leads Edmonton in ice time this season and is the top scoring defenseman with two goals and six assists in 18 games.

The Maple Leafs are winless since beating the Oilers at home 4-1 on Nov. 8. They are 0-1-2-1 in the first four games of a six-game road trip.

Toronto is coming off a 3-2 loss to Calgary on Tuesday. The Maple Leafs were outshot 26-17, including 5-0 in overtime.

"We have some issues right now that we need to clean up," said center Joe Nieuwendyk, who returned to the lineup after missing seven games with an injured back. "We're not playing as a team consistently for 60 minutes and we haven't for quite some time. We make a lot of errors that cost us and good teams don't do that."
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