NHL

Leafs look to overcome Blues ' domination on TSN

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The Sports Network
1/6/2011 3:19:20 PM
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(Sports Network) - The St. Louis Blues will aim to get back in the win column tonight, when they visit the Toronto Maple Leafs for this evening's clash at Air Canada Centre.

Catch the game on TSN at 7pm et/4pm pt.

St. Louis will be facing a Toronto club that has lost four straight and seven of its last nine home games. The Maple Leafs dropped a close regulation decision Monday against Boston and fell to 8-10-3 as the host this year.

Nathan Horton tallied a goal and an assist in the Bruins' 2-1 victory at Air Canada Centre. Mikhail Grabovski notched the lone goal for the Leafs, who have lost six of eight overall and are 13th in the East with just 32 points on the year.

"To come close in these tight games shows that we're in it," said Toronto defenseman Dion Phaneuf. "We're close here, but we have to find a way to win it and that's the bottom line."

James Reimer made 31 saves in the losing cause. The rookie netminder had notched a win in the first start of his NHL career, a 5-1 victory in Ottawa on New Year's Day.

Jonas Gustavsson will get the start in net tonight for Toronto. Still up in the air is how long Reimer will remain with the NHL club considering Leafs goaltender Jean-Sebastien Giguere is nearing a return from a groin injury that has sidelined him since mid-December.

Giguere had his first full practice on Sunday and he could be ready to return to the crease sometime this week. Giguere, who is 8-7-2 this season, last played on Dec. 16 in Calgary.

Tonight marks the lone scheduled meeting this year between Toronto and the Blues. St. Louis recorded a 4-0 home win over the Maple Leafs last season and has taken three straight and five of the last six contests in this series.

The Blues are unbeaten in their last eight trips to Toronto, posting seven wins and a tie over that stretch. The last Maple Leafs' home win over St. Louis was on Feb. 4, 1998.

The Blues had won five games in a row, but that streak ended on Sunday with a 4-2 home loss to Dallas.

Prior to the loss against the Stars, the recent winning streak had allowed St. Louis to get out of the 3-7-2 funk the club suffered through from Nov. 26-Dec. 20.

St. Louis enters tonight with 45 points and is tied with Los Angeles and Chicago for the eighth and final playoff berth in the Western Conference.

Brenden Morrow tallied a pair of goals to back a 28-save performance from Kari Lehtonen in the Stars' victory at Scottrade Center on Sunday. Dallas trailed 2-1 heading into the third period, but scored three unanswered goals over the final 20 minutes to secure the win.

David Backes and Alex Steen posted first-period goals for the Blues, while Jaroslav Halak took the loss after yielding all four scores on 27 shots.

"I don't think it's about what Dallas did, it's about what we didn't do," said St. Louis head coach Davis Payne. "It was a very poorly executed game on our part and it cost us a win."

The Blues have lost four of their last six on the road heading into tonight's tilt in Toronto and Payne's club is just 6-8-3 as the visiting team this season.

Jonas Gustavsson (Photo: Greg Fiume/Getty Images)

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(Photo: Greg Fiume/Getty Images)
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