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Playoff positioning at stake as Flames host Leafs

by Dave Lozo
LEAFS (28-22-6) at FLAMES (26-22-8)


Last 10:
Toronto 5-4-1; Calgary 5-2-3

Season Series:
This is the second and final meeting of the season. The Leafs emerged with a 3-2 win at home all the way back on Oct. 15. Phil Kessel had 2 goals and 1 assist for the Leafs.

Big Story:
It's a pair of Canadian franchises who are fighting for one of the final playoff spots in their respective conferences. The Leafs are trying to fend off the likes of Washington and Winnipeg for the eighth spot in the East, while the ninth-place Flames are scratching and clawing at the heels of the eighth-place Coyotes.

Team Scope:

Maple Leafs:
Toronto is in the midst of a little skid as it heads out for a three-game Western Canada swing. The Leafs have lost three straight, including a 5-0 shellacking at the hands of the Canadiens on Saturday night.

Goaltender James Reimer allowed four goals on seven shots in the second period.

"The first goal was probably a stoppable shot," coach Ron Wilson said. "(It put us) down to a team that wants to play everybody back and rob you of your speed and the kind of game you want to play. That first goal was critical and we talked about that. It wasn't a good goal to give up, and bad things happen after that."

Calgary is headed in the other direction, going 3-0-2 in its last five games. A big reason is goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff, who made 29 saves Saturday and stopped three more shots in the shootout to beat the Canucks 3-2.
Kiprusoff is 3-0-1 in this stretch and has a .938 save percentage in his last four games.

"Tremendous," Mike Cammalleri said when asked about Kiprusoff. "I don't know if anybody's playing as well as he is right now. He's in the zone as they say in sports and we like him there."

Who's Hot: Calgary's Jarome Iginla has 3 goals and 2 assists in his four games.

Injury Report:
The Leafs lack any injuries to report. … Flames defensemen Derek Smith (ankle) and forwards David Moss (ankle), Curtis Glencross (MCL) and Lee Stempniak (ankle) are on injured reserve.

Stat Pack:
Reimer has allowed eight goals in his last five periods of play, making it almost a certainty that Jonas Gustavsson gets the start vs. the Flames. But in their first matchup, Reimer stopped 30 of 32 Flames shots.

Puck Drop:
"We just didn't play well. I don't think there's much more than needs to be said. It's disappointing, with where we're at in the standings, not to come out and play our best." -- Leafs captain Dion Phaneuf, following the 5-0 loss to Montreal

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