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Red-hot Leafs head to Pittsburgh

by Brian Compton
MAPLE LEAFS (28-35-12) at PENGUINS (43-25-7)

Last 10: Toronto 8-2-0; Pittsburgh 4-3-3.

Season Series: This is the fourth and final meeting between the teams. Pittsburgh has taken two of three, including a 4-1 victory on Jan. 9 at the Air Canada Centre.

Big Story: Pittsburgh finds itself in quite a battle for the Atlantic Division title. It enters Sunday's action tied for first place with the New Jersey Devils at 93 points apiece. The Devils have a game in hand on the Pens.

Team Scope:

Maple Leafs: Despite being out of the playoff picture, the Maple Leafs continue to battle. They rallied from a 2-0 deficit on Saturday night for a 3-2 overtime victory against the New York Rangers at the ACC. The win was Toronto's eighth in its last 10 games. Nikolai Kulemin notched the game-winner just 39 seconds into the extra session.

"The more you win, the more confident you get,” said Leafs goalie Jonas Gustavsson, who made 36 saves. "It's still hard work. You can't just lean back and think you're going to win just by going out there. You maybe have to prepare maybe even harder when you win a couple in a row to stay in focus.

"I just have to keep playing the best I can the rest of the games."

Penguins: Pittsburgh took advantage of the injury-plagued Flyers on Saturday afternoon, as Ruslan Fedotenko had a goal and an assist and Sidney Crosby had three assists in a 4-1 win at Mellon Arena. It snapped a three-game skid for Pittsburgh, which scored more than three goals for the first time in 10 contests.

"All of our goals were a result of going to the net, crashing there and getting second chances," Pens coach Dan Bylsma said. "That's what you have to do. We played in the offensive zone for long periods, but it wasn't perfect and we can get better."

Who's Hot: Gustavsson has won his last seven appearances for the Maple Leafs. It's the longest-running streak by a Toronto goalie since Ed Belfour won seven in a row in 2003. … Crosby hasn't scored in seven games, but he does have five assists in his last four contests.

Injury Report: Leafs defensemen Mike Komisarek (shoulder) and Mike Van Ryn (knee) are out for the season. … For the Penguins, Evgeni Malkin has missed five of the last six games with a bruised right foot. He did not play on Saturday. Sergei Gonchar also sat due to an illness.

Stat Pack: Mats Sundin and Alexander Mogilny are the only Leafs forwards to score 30 goals in a season in the last 10 years. Phil Kessel, who is in his first season in Toronto, has 29.

Puck Drop: "We played with the intensity that we wanted. When you get a game like that, this was a good way to respond to a tough team and an emotional one." -- Penguins captain Sidney Crosby after Saturday's 4-1 win against Philadelphia
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