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Maple Leafs seek to end skid against Lightning

by Adam Kimelman

LIGHTNING (13-15-1) at MAPLE LEAFS (15-12-2)


Last 10: Tampa Bay 4-6-0; Toronto 4-4-2

Season series: This is the second of three games between the teams this season, and the only one to be played in Toronto. On Feb. 19, the Lightning beat the Maple Leafs 4-2 at the Tampa Bay Times Forum.

Big story: Can the Lightning build off their big win against the Philadelphia Flyers on Monday? Or will the Maple Leafs snap out of their five-game winless skid?

Team Scope:

Lightning: No one is saying much about the lower-body injury sustained by team captain Vincent Lecavalier, but all that's known for sure is that it will keep him out for at least three more games. Lecavalier did not travel with the team on its three-game road trip, which starts Wednesday in Toronto.

Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman told the Tampa Tribune that it's "reasonable" that Lecavalier could be out as long as three weeks.

The Tampa Bay Times reported Monday that Lecavalier sustained a broken bone in his left foot during a game against the Florida Panthers on March 12, at or near the same spot he sustained a bone bruise in the foot when he was hit by a shot by teammate Sami Salo during a game Feb. 2.

Lecavalier wouldn't say what his exact ailment was, but said it's keeping him limited to off-ice activities.

"It's more of a waiting game and waiting and rest it," he told reporters in Tampa on Monday. "I can still do some other stuff. Skating right now is not a possibility."

Maple Leafs: Toronto is winless in five games (0-3-2) and has given up 16 goals in that span. Coach Randy Carlyle said he'd like to see his two goalies, James Reimer and Ben Scrivens, step up their level of play.

"We'd like for someone to show us they're going to grab the net," Carlyle told the Toronto Sun. "We're no different than anyone else. We at one point thought of alternating them, 'This is your start tomorrow and it's the other guy’s the next day.' Go with the opposite until they prove that out. Those are all the things you run through the back of your mind. If you make that decision, go with it, and if not, wait for the guy to emerge. Before Reimer was hurt, we thought we were pretty close to that."

Reiner said he was on board with whatever the coaching staff decided.

"There are pros and cons with both [a set rotation and a game-by-game rotation]," he told the Toronto Sun. "We're competitors, but we have a good relationship. We're going to keep pushing each other."

In the five-game slide, Reimer is 0-1-2 in three games, and allowed eight goals on 76 shots. Reimer is 0-2-0 and let in 10 goals on 81 shots.

Who's hot: Lightning forward Steven Stamkos scored his League-best 21st goal in the final seconds of Tampa Bay's win Monday against the Flyers. It also was the 200th of his NHL career. … Maple Leafs forward Phil Kessel has points in four straight games, totaling four goals and seven points in that span.

Injury report: Lecavalier is out with a lower-body injury, and forward Benoit Pouliot is out with an upper-body injury. … Outside of bumps and bruises, the Maple Leafs are a healthy team.

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