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Leafs fly to Philly

by Staff Writer / Toronto Maple Leafs
PHILADELPHIA (Ticker) -- Two of the top three teams in the Eastern Conference square off at the First Union Center on Sunday night as the Philadelphia Flyers entertain the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Philadelphia leads the East with 83 points while Toronto is in second place in the Northeast Division, three points behind Boston.

The Flyers have won four of six games since the Olympic break, including Friday's 4-2 triumph at Tampa Bay. Defenseman Chris Therien scored the go-ahead goal with 9:18 remaining as Philadelphia overcame the absences of captain Keith Primeau and right wing Mark Recchi.

Primeau remains day-to-day with a rib injury and Recchi will finish a two-game NHL suspension for elbowing Calgary defenseman Denis Gauthier.

The Flyers also have been without injured goaltender Roman Cechmanek (ankle) and right wing Ruslan Fedotenko (knee).

Toronto also has its share of injured regulars, with goalie Curtis Joseph sidelined with a broken finger, defenseman Dmitry Yushkevich out with a blood clot, right wing Alexander Mogilny nursing a bad back and former Flyer Mikael Renberg day-to-day with a pulled hamstring.

The Maple Leafs settled for a 1-1 tie at Montreal on Saturday and have just one win in their last five games (1-2-2). Mats Sundin almost singlehandedly has carried Toronto offensively with 61 points, 17 more than anyone else. "For the past four years, I've been saying we don't have a first line," Leafs coach Pat Quinn said after Saturday's game. "I'll tell you, my best player is Mats Sundin, so you take it from there."

Philadelphia took the only previous meeting this season, 3-0, on January 19 at the Air Canada Centre as Cechmanek outdueled Joseph and Donald Brashear scored a goal and squared off twice with Toronto enforcer Tie Domi.

The Flyers have a 20-8-1 lead in the series since the 1989-90 season and have won seven of the last nine games in Philadelphia.
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