Mighty Ducks-Maple Leafs Preview
GAME: Anaheim Mighty Ducks (13-12-5) at Toronto Maple Leafs (15-12-3).
TIME: Monday, 7:30 p.m. EST.
After ending a long winless skid at Montreal, the Anaheim Mighty Ducks look for their first victory in Toronto in more than six years when they conclude a three-game road trip with a matchup against the Maple Leafs.
Anaheim has been outscored 14-5 in losing its last three games at Air Canada Centre since a 2-0 victory on Nov. 9, 1999. The Ducks have won only twice in 15 visits to Toronto.
Anaheim earned its first win in Montreal in more than seven years, beating the Canadiens 5-3 on Saturday. Petr Sykora had a goal and an assist, and Andy McDonald and Teemu Selanne each added two assists as the Ducks won for first time in five tries at Montreal since March 21, 1998.
"It's a tough place to play," Anaheim defenseman Keith Carney said of Montreal. "You have to be prepared and you have to get off to a good start, and we were able to do that."
Jean-Sebastien Giguere has played well in two games after missing seven with a hamstring injury. He stopped 28 shots Thursday in a 3-2 overtime loss to the Buffalo Sabres and turned aside 21 shots in the win over the Canadiens.
Anaheim is 5-1-1 in its last seven games, but remains in fourth place in the Pacific Division.
"We need all the wins we can get," defenseman Scott Niedermayer said. "We're still looking up at a lot of teams."
Toronto has lost three straight and four of its last five, including a 2-1 defeat Saturday to the Dallas Stars that again denied goaltender Ed Belfour the chance to move into sole possession of second place on the all-time wins list.
In four games since earning his 447th career victory on Nov. 28, Belfour has stopped 93 of 104 shots and the Leafs have lost all those contests by one goal.
Belfour may be given a rest and replaced by backup Mikael Tellqvist. The rookie has not played since Dec. 1 when he posted his first career shutout in a win over the Atlanta Thrashers.
Mats Sundin was briefly placed on a line with Eric Lindros and Darcy Tucker against the Stars, and responded by snapping a five-game goal-scoring drought.
"We were searching for something to get us some offense," said Leafs coach Pat Quinn, who said he isn't sure he'll keep the line together.
Sundin has 16 goals and 16 assists in 24 games against Anaheim.
STANDINGS (through Dec. 11): Mighty Ducks - 31 points, 4th place, 8 PB, Pacific Division. Maple Leafs - 33 points, 4th place, 11 PB, Northeast Division.
TEAM LEADERS: Mighty Ducks - Selanne, 15 goals and 26 points; Niedermayer, 16 assists; Todd Fedoruk, 57 PIM. Maple Leafs - Tucker, 13 goals; Bryan McCabe, 26 assists, 36 points and 42 PIM.
SPECIAL TEAMS (through Dec. 11): Mighty Ducks - Power play: 15.3 percent (28 for 182), 23rd in NHL. Penalty killing: 84.2 percent (171 for 203), 8th. Maple Leafs - Power play: 21.4 percent (42 for 196), 2nd. Penalty killing: 82 percent (151 for 184), 17th.
GOALTENDERS: Mighty Ducks - Giguere (7-3-5, 2.73 GAA); Ilya Bryzgalov (6-9-0, 2.51). Maple Leafs - Belfour (12-10-2, 3.16); Tellqvist (3-2-1, 1 SO, 2.41).
2003-04 SEASON SERIES: Mighty Ducks, 1-0.
LAST MEETING: Nov. 12, 2003; Mighty Ducks, 5-1. At Anaheim, Calif., McDonald had two goals and an assist, and Giguere made 29 saves to lead the Ducks.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Mighty Ducks - 3-6-3 on the road; Maple Leafs - 9-7-1 at home.