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Maple Leafs-Lightning Preview @NHLdotcom
Maple Leafs-Lightning Preview

GAME: Toronto Maple Leafs (14-8-3) at Tampa Bay Lightning (13-10-3).

TIME: Wednesday, 7:30 p.m. EST.

Maple Leafs goaltender Ed Belfour will try to move into sole possession of second place on the career wins list as Toronto continues a three-game road trip against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Belfour stopped 34 shots in a 2-1 victory over the Florida Panthers on Monday.

With his 447th career win, Belfour tied Hallf of Famer Terry Sawchuk for second place on the all-time list. With his next victory, Belfour will only trail Patrick Roy, who had 551 wins.

"I had a chance to read his biography," Belfour said of Sawchuk. "He was a very fierce competitor, very acrobatic and obviously very brave, not wearing a mask most of his career. I'm just honored to be tied with him."

Toronto has played very well lately, winning six of eight overall and three of four on the road.

Defenseman Bryan McCabe scored the go-ahead goal Monday on a 5-on-3 power play midway through the third period.

McCabe leads all defensemen this season with 10 goals, 23 assists and 33 points.

"We had 1:15 ... 1:20, so we knew, 'Let's be patient here, let's wait for the right play"' McCabe said. "We moved the puck around and I got a clear shot."

Tomas Kaberle, who assisted on McCabe's goal, has 10 assists in his last eight games. He is second in the NHL among defensemen with 19 assists.

Helped by an improved offense, Tampa Bay looks to make it six wins in seven games Wednesday.

The Lightning have scored four or more goals in four of their last five games, totaling 19 in that span. The resurgent offense has helped Tampa Bay win six of eight since it lost six straight from Nov. 1-11.

Fredrik Modin scored two power-play goals and John Grahame made 20 saves in the Lightning's 4-1 victory over Pittsburgh on Sunday.

"John Grahame was the reason why we won the hockey game," Lightning coach John Tortorella said. "We could have been down by two or three goals at the end of that first period the way we came out and played."

Modin has been one of Tampa Bay's most productive players lately with four goals and four assists in the last five games. Linemate Brad Richards also scored against Pittsburgh, giving him four goals and eight assists during a 10-game points streak.

That production has helped offset Vincent Lecavalier's struggles. The Lightning's top center has only one goal in his past 11 games.

STANDINGS (through Nov. 29): Maple Leafs - 31 points, 3rd place (tied), 7 PB, Northeast Division. Lightning - 29 points, 2nd place, 4 PB, Southeast Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Maple Leafs - Jeff O'Neill, 11 goals; McCabe, 23 assists and 33 points; McCabe and Wade Belak, 38 PIM. Lightning - Vaclav Prospal and Modin, 13 goals; Prospal, 20 assists and 33 points; Pavel Kubina, 46 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS (through Nov. 29): Maple Leafs - Power play: 23.4 percent (37 for 158), 2nd in NHL. Penalty killing: 81.7 percent (125 for 153), 20th. Lightning - Power play: 14 percent (22 for 157), tied for 25th. Penalty killing: 83.7 percent (108 for 129), 11th.

GOALTENDERS: Maple Leafs - Belfour (12-6-2, 0 SO, 3.24 GAA); Mikael Tellqvist (2-2-1, 2.83). Lightning - Grahame (10-8-1, 1, 2.77); Sean Burke (3-1-2, 2.77).

SEASON SERIES: Maple Leafs, 1-0.

LAST MEETING: Nov. 5; Maple Leafs, 5-3. At Toronto, Belfour made 33 saves, five different Maple Leafs scored, including Mats Sundin, who netted his first goal of the season in his return from a fractured orbital bone.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Maple Leafs - 5-4-2 on the road; Lightning - 6-5-1 at home.

Associated Press
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