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Surging Leafs head to San Jose

by Brian Compton /
MAPLE LEAFS (17-20-4) at SHARKS (21-17-5)


Last 10: Toronto 5-5-0; San Jose 4-6-0.

Season Series: This is the lone meeting between the teams. They last faced each other on Feb. 8, 2010, when San Jose earned a 3-2 victory at the Air Canada Centre.

Big Story: It's a rare sight to see the Sharks struggling the way they are right now. San Jose enters Tuesday's action trying to stop a four-game losing streak after it suffered a 2-1 loss to the Nashville Predators on Saturday night at HP Pavilion. Much of their latest loss had to with Preds goalie Pekka Rinne, who stopped 42 shots.

"At least we can look each other in the eye and say we showed up and played hard," Sharks coach Todd McLellan said. "If we put some more games like that together, we'll win our share. We can't have another effort like we did against Buffalo (last Thursday)."

Team Scope:

Maple Leafs: Toronto is starting a roll a little bit -- especially on the road. Phil Kessel and Darryl Boyce scored 34 seconds apart in the second period for the Maple Leafs on Monday en route to a 3-2 victory against the Los Angeles Kings at the Staples Center. The Leafs have won three straight games overall and have won their last four road contests. Toronto hasn't lost on the road since Dec. 18.

"I thought we played a very good road game," Leafs coach Ron Wilson said. "We got down early, but we weren't frustrated or anything. We got our game going in the second period. The 'D' started moving pucks and jumped into the play. Each line scored a goal, so it was huge for us."

Sharks: Logan Couture was able to end a Sharks goalless streak that had extended for close to two games when he beat Rinne 4:35 into the second period, but Sergei Kostitsyn sealed the deal at 6:23 of the third to hand the Sharks their fourth straight loss.

"A loss is a loss," defenseman Dan Boyle said. "It's frustrating, at home, the first game of the second half. It's a tough one. We had a lot of good looks and he played really well. I can't explain why the scoring has been down this year and 5-on-5. We have to work for our goals and they are not coming easy."

Who's Hot: Leafs forward Nikolai Kulemin scored his 16th goal of the season Monday night. He has three goals in his last two games. … Couture's goal on Saturday was his 19th as he continues to solidify himself as a Calder Trophy candidate.

Injury Report: Toronto will likely be without Jean-Sebastien Giguere (groin), John Mitchell (MCL) and Mike Brown (broken finger). … Sharks center Joe Pavelski is day-to-day with a lower-body injury. John McCarthy (upper body) is out.

Stat Pack: Sharks forward Dany Heatley, whose 234 goals since 2005 are the third-most in the League behind Washington's Alex Ovechkin (284) and New Jersey's Ilya Kovalchuk (240), has just two over his last 17 games.

Puck Drop: "It's frustrating when you play good back-to-back games, doing the things we wanted to do, and pucks haven't been going in the net for us. We've got to score. The top two lines have to score. The power play has to score. It's the difference in our game right now." -- Sharks forward Devin Setoguchi
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