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Leafs In The Windy City Tonight

by Staff Writer / Toronto Maple Leafs
MAPLE LEAFS (29-27-7) at BLACKHAWKS (33-24-7)


Last 10: Toronto 1-8-1; Chicago 4-6-0.

Season Series: This is the lone meeting between the teams. They last faced each other on March 5, 2011, when the Blackhawks earned a 5-3 victory at the Air Canada Centre.

Big Story: Both teams are aiming to get back on track heading into Wednesday's match. Chicago will be looking to avoid a four-game losing streak, as the Blackhawks have been outscored 10-2 over their last three contests. Meanwhile, Toronto is in the midst of a horrid stretch -- the Leafs suffered a 5-3 loss on home ice against the Florida Panthers on Tuesday night, their ninth defeat in 10 games.

Team Scope:

Maple Leafs: Toronto allowed goals on the first two shots it faced against the Panthers on Tuesday night and never recovered. The Leafs, who haven't qualified for the Stanley Cup Playoffs since 2004, now find themselves four points behind the eighth-place Washington Capitals in the Eastern Conference race. Toronto finished its four-game homestand with a record of 0-3-1.

"You do get exasperated and you get frustrated," coach Ron Wilson said. "But tomorrow's a new day, the sun will probably come up and we've got to pull up our bootstraps and get going."

Blackhawks: Chicago hasn't been able to get the job done without captain Jonathan Toews, who will miss his fifth straight game Wednesday night due to an apparent concussion. The Blackhawks are hoping the arrival of Johnny Oduya will ignite a spark, as the defenseman was acquired Monday from the Winnipeg Jets. Oduya will help fill the void left by blueliners Niklas Hjalmarsson and Steve Montador, who are both out with upper-body injuries.

"Offensively, we're not doing much right now," Patrick Kane said. "We need some contributions from everyone. You can always say you need your best players to be your best players. That's something that we need to get better at, too, including myself."

Who's Hot: Leafs winger Phil Kessel has 6 goals with 10 assists in his last 12 games.

Injury Report: Chicago will be without Toews, Hjalmarsson, Montador, along with Daniel Carcillo (torn ACL).

Stat Pack: Chicago has scored once in its last 42 power-play opportunities. The Blackhawks ended an 0-for-39 drought at Anaheim on Sunday.

Puck Drop: "There is no excuse. We need results and we need results now and our season is on the line here. We've shown at times here that we are a playoff-capable team. We're still in it despite the last couple of weeks, so we've just got to get the job done." -- Maple Leafs defenseman Mike Komisarek

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