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Maple Leafs will be without Lupul against Penguins

by Pete Jensen

MAPLE LEAFS (14-9-1) at PENGUINS (15-9-1)


Last 10: Toronto 4-5-1; Pittsburgh 4-5-1

Season series: This is the second of three meetings between the teams. Toronto Maple Leafs goalie James Reimer stopped 37 of 38 shots faced in a 4-1 victory against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Oct. 26 at Air Canada Centre.

Big story: Toronto will be without injured forward Joffrey Lupul when it visits Pittsburgh on Thanksgiving Eve. The teams are separated by two points in the Eastern Conference standings.

Team Scope:

Maple Leafs: In his six victories this season, Reimer has given up eight goals on 240 shots. But the 25-year-old's fortunes took a turn for the worse Monday when he allowed six goals on 21 shots in a 6-0 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets. it was Toronto's most lopsided defeat of the season.

"I don't really have much to say, don't really have much to offer," Reimer said. "It just wasn't my night. You'll have nights like that where the puck just eludes you. As hard as you work and as much as you try and bear down, it just doesn't work out sometimes."

Coach Randy Carlyle will turn to Jonathan Bernier to start Wednesday.

"We're going into Pittsburgh and there's no secret who's there, so we've got to be at the top of our game," Carlyle said. "What we're looking for from our group is a response, because the response we had from our group [Monday] night wasn't positive."

To make matters worse, Lupul left the game in the second period and did not return after sustaining what Carlyle said was a Grade 2 groin strain. He is expected to miss about two weeks.

Penguins: Pittsburgh, 10-3-0 at home, returns to Consol Energy Center after getting one point in a two-game swing against the Montreal Canadiens and Boston Bruins. Even the one point the Penguins did get didn't come easily; Sidney Crosby scored with 0.3 seconds left in regulation to force overtime in Boston, but Torey Krug's goal gave the Bruins the extra point.

"Sid buried that one with a second left, so that's huge going into OT," forward James Neal told "We thought we deserved a little better, but we can't keep saying that; we got to do it."

Who's hot: After not recording a point in his first eight games, Maple Leafs forward David Clarkson has four in his past six. … Neal, who started the season with one goal over his first six games, has five goals during a four-game points streak.

Injury report: In addition to Lupul being out, Maple Leafs center Dave Bolland (ankle) remains out indefinitely. … Penguins wing Beau Bennett will miss 8-10 weeks after undergoing hand and wrist surgery this week. Paul Martin (fractured tibia) and Tanner Glass (broken hand) are also out of the lineup. Tomas Vokoun (blood clot in hip), Rob Scuderi (ankle) and Chuck Kobasew (lower body) are on injured reserve.


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