TORONTO – The Toronto Maple Leafs have more than a four-game winless streak and the New Jersey Devils to contend with Sunday at Air Canada Centre. They're also battling illness.
According to Maple Leafs coach Randy Carlyle, forwards Tyler Bozak and Jerry D'Amigo, defensemen Mark Fraser and Tim Gleason, and goalie James Reimer all missed the morning skate with some kind of sickness.
"There's either a flu bug or food poisoning," Carlyle said. "There's just too many of them under the weather and having the same symptoms. We don't quite have a finger on exactly what it is. We think that there's people that weren't skating this morning that will be available to us tonight."
The Maple Leafs need a win and come off a 3-2 loss against the Washington Capitals on Thursday. They're hoping they can build off the things they did right in that game.
"There's always going to be pressure," forward Joffrey Lupul said. "Certainly you don't want to fall too far out of the playoff race. Honestly, right now we feel a little bit better about ourselves than we have the past couple games. We think we've put some good periods together. But again, it's all about wins and losses, so we've got to find a way to get a win tonight."
Toronto has allowed 21 goals during its winless streak. Since Jonathan Bernier was the only goalie on the ice for the morning skate, it's expected he'll get the start against New Jersey.
The Devils held an optional skate in which only forwards Cam Janssen, Jacob Josefson and Andrei Loktionov participated with goalie Martin Brodeur. Those three forwards are expected to be scratches against the Maple Leafs and they'll play seven defensemen.
Devils coach Pete DeBoer announced after the Devils' 2-1 overtime win against the Florida Panthers on Saturday that Cory Schneider would start against Toronto. Schneider will make his third straight start and has allowed one goal in his past two games.
As for the lineups, here's how they may look:
James van Riemsdyk – Tyler Bozak – Phil Kessel
Mason Raymond – Nazem Kadri – Joffrey Lupul
Nikolai Kulemin – Jay McClement – David Clarkson
Jerry D'Amigo – Carter Ashton – Colton Orr
Carl Gunnarsson – Dion Phaneuf
Tim Gleason – Cody Franson
Jake Gardiner – Morgan Rielly
Scratched: Paul Ranger, Frazer McLaren, Mark Fraser
Injured: Dave Bolland (IR – cut tendon), Trevor Smith (IR – broken arm)
Dainius Zubrus – Travis Zajac – Jaromir Jagr
Ryane Clowe – Adam Henrique – Michael Ryder
Ryan Carter – Stephen Gionta – Steve Bernier
Reid Boucher – Mike Sislo – Eric Gelinas (D)
Andy Greene – Mark Fayne
Bryce Salvador – Anton Volchenkov
Jon Merrill – Marek Zidlicky
Scratched: Andrei Loktionov, Cam Janssen, Jacob Josefson
Injured: Patrik Elias (IR – body), Damien Brunner (IR – knee), Peter Harrold (IR – foot)