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Islanders hope to end home woes against Maple Leafs

by Brian Compton /

MAPLE LEAFS (12-9-0) at ISLANDERS (8-11-1)


Last 10: Toronto 6-4-0; New York 4-6-0.

Season series: This is the second of three meetings. The Islanders earned a 7-4 win against the Maple Leafs on Jan. 24 at Air Canada Centre.

Big story: Thursday marks the third of a seven-game homestand for the Islanders, who are 2-8-0 at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. If they plan on remaining in the mix for a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, that statistic will need to change for the better immediately.

"We could say this or that, but the bottom line is we are not winning the games," Islanders goaltender Evgeni Nabokov told Newsday. "We're playing in front of our fans, our building, and you don't want a record like that."

Team scope:

Maple Leafs: Toronto lost for the second time in the past three games Wednesday night, when it suffered a 5-2 defeat against the Montreal Canadiens at Air Canada Centre. Frazer McLaren and Clarke MacArthur scored for the Maple Leafs, but the Eastern Conference-leading Habs peppered Ben Scrivens with 40 shots on goal.

At one point in the game, Montreal held a 23-5 advantage in shots on goal.

"We were flat, flat, flat, flat,” Maple Leafs coach Randy Carlyle said. ... “At times it looked like we were in boots and they were on skates."

It is believed James Reimer will get his first start in more than two weeks since suffering a knee injury during Toronto’s 5-2 win against the Philadelphia Flyers on Feb. 11. In 10 appearances this season, Reimer is 6-3-0 with a 2.31 goals-against average and .929 save percentage.

Islanders: The home woes continued for New York on Tuesday night, when it dropped a 4-1 decision to the Boston Bruins. Casey Cizikas scored the lone goal for the Islanders, who put forth a solid effort but experienced tremendous difficulty solving Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask (36 saves).

"There's a lot of hockey left to play," Islanders coach Jack Capuano said. "We have to compete like we played tonight every night."

Who’s hot: With an assist Wednesday night, Maple Leafs forward Nazem Kadri extended his point streak to three straight games. He has four assists during that span and leads the club with 18 points (five goals, 13 assists) in 21 contests.

Injury report: Maple Leafs wing Joffrey Lupul (forearm) is on injured reserve. … The Islanders will be without defensemen Matt Carkner (groin) and Brian Strait (ankle), as well as forward Jesse Joensuu (sports hernia).

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