TSN TV Schedule TSN2 TV Schedule
NHL

Leafs, Senators, Canucks and Oilers all in action

{eot}
The Sports Network
2/15/2011 2:11:57 PM
Decrease Text SizeIncrease Text Size
Text Size

(Sports Network) - The first-place Boston Bruins will try to avoid losing three games in a row tonight, when they host the Toronto Maple Leafs for a Northeast Division battle at TD Garden.

The Maple Leafs were blanked by the rival Canadiens on Saturday, as Carey Price made 27 saves to record his sixth shutout of the season in Montreal's 3-0 win at the Bell Centre.

Jean-Sebastien Giguere allowed three goals on 39 shots for the Maple Leafs, who had won four of five prior to dropping their last two outings.

"I don't think, as a group, we were ready to compete tonight. When you come in to a building like this, against a division rival, you have to show up," said Giguere. "You have to compete in every aspect of the game. I don't think we were willing to do that for the whole 60 minutes."

Toronto's rookie goaltender James Reimer is expected to get the start tonight. Reimer lost his only career game against Boston on Jan. 3, but he allowed just two goals on 33 shots in that 2-1 setback.

Boston's Thomas is 1-0-1 with a 0.96 goals-against average in two games against Toronto this season.

The Maple Leafs will no longer have forward Kris Versteeg at their disposal after trading him to Philadelphia on Monday for a first and third-round pick in the 2011 draft. The 24-year-old winger had 14 goals and 35 points in 53 games for Toronto this season.

Toronto is just 10-16-1 on the road this year and has lost six of its last seven games as the guest. The Maple Leafs are currently on a three- game road trip that is set to end tomorrow night in Buffalo.

The Bruins had a rough weekend as they were swept in a home-and-home series with the Detroit Red Wings. Boston was pounded, 6-1, in the home portion on Friday and was then dealt a 4-2 setback Sunday in the Motor City.

Boston hasn't lost three straight since Dec. 11-16 and another defeat this evening could cost the Bruins their spot atop the Northeast Division. With 69 points, Boston is just one ahead of Montreal for first place. The Canadiens could have a chance to jump past the Bruins tonight when they host the Buffalo Sabres.

Toronto, meanwhile, is 17 points behind the Bruins in the division standings and 10 points out of a playoff spot in the East. The Maple Leafs have also lost two straight and are coming off Saturday's shutout loss in Montreal.

The Bruins have taken two of three from Toronto this season and Boston has won four of six and 11 out of 14 overall in the series. The Leafs have also lost six straight and seven out of eight in Boston. Toronto's last win in Beantown came on Oct. 23, 2008.

After getting slammed on Friday by the Red Wings, the Bruins were dealt a 4-2 defeat two days later at Joe Louis Arena. Todd Bertuzzi scored two goals in both games for Detroit.

Rookies Tyler Seguin and Brad Marchand scored first-period goals for Boston, which got 32 saves from Michigan native Tim Thomas. It was the third loss in four games for the Bruins.

"We got outplayed. They're a very highly-skilled hockey team," Thomas said. "You can't give them the odd-man rushes and good scoring chances or else they bury them. That's what they did for two games against us."

Tonight's tilt marks the final home game of the month for Boston, which will follow up this evening's test with a six-game road trip. The Bruins are 15-11-3 on home ice compared to a 16-7-4 road mark.

The Bruins will have forward Daniel Paille as an option tonight, now that he has served a four-game suspension for a blindside hit to Dallas' Raymond Sawada on Feb. 3.

New York Islanders at Ottawa Senators

The New York Islanders will try to keep their offense rolling and pick up a fourth straight win when they visit the Ottawa Senators tonight at Scotiabank Place.

Alex Kovalev registered two goals and set up Peter Regin's game-winner in the third period to lift the Senators to Saturday's 5-3 win in Edmonton. It was the first victory for Ottawa since a 6-3 victory over the Islanders on Jan. 13.

Milan Michalek and Bobby Butler also tallied for the Senators, who are now 2-12-3 since the calendar flipped to 2011. Brian Elliott made 15 saves to notch his first win since December 26.

"You can go around the room and it's a pretty sweet victory for everybody that's involved," said Ottawa defenseman Chris Phillips.

Ottawa captain Daniel Alfredsson missed his second straight game with a back injury on Saturday and is out indefinitely.

The Senators will try to end another losing streak tonight, having dropped their last five games on home ice. Ottawa, which will also host Boston in its next game on Friday, is just 9-15-4 as the home club this season.

After losing the first two meetings of the year against Ottawa, the Isles picked up a 5-3 home win versus the Senators on Feb. 5. The Sens have won six of eight overall against New York and the Islanders have dropped four straight in Ottawa.

The Islanders have scored a total of 20 goals during a three-game winning streak and have lit the lamp 16 times in their last two games alone.

Despite the recent offensive explosion, the Islanders are currently in 14th place in the East and are ahead of only the Senators in the conference standings. New York has 47 points and is three in front of Ottawa.

While New York has tied a season high with three straight wins, Ottawa recently halted an 11-game losing streak -- the club's longest skid since the 1995-96 season. The Senators ended the epic slide with Saturday's win over Edmonton, which is the only team beneath Ottawa in the NHL standings.

After posting a 9-3 win in Friday's fight-filled home battle against Pittsburgh, the Isles recorded a wild 7-6 overtime victory Sunday in Buffalo. Michael Grabner scored with 2:05 left in overtime to complete his hat trick in dramatic fashion.

After New York killed off the remainder of a Buffalo power play that carried over from the third period into overtime, the Islanders finally put an end to a long afternoon.

Kyle Okposo's rink-wide pass from his own zone was knocked down by Sabres defenseman Andrej Sekera, but the blueliner was unable to control the bouncing puck and Grabner gathered, skated in and fired a shot by Ryan Miller on the stick side to give the Islanders the victory.

John Tavares and Milan Jurcina each had a goal and an assist for the Islanders, who have also won four of their last five.

"We're really starting to come together, and it's great to see," Tavares said.

Blake Comeau and Ty Wishart also tallied for New York, which got three-assist games from Okposo and Frans Nielsen. Mikko Koskinen allowed four goals on 14 shots before getting replaced by Al Montoya, who stopped 12-of-14 shots to pick up the win.

On Monday, Koskinen was sent to New York's AHl affiliate in Bridgeport to make room for Nathan Lawson, who was activated off injured reserve. Lawson has been out since Jan. 21 with an injured left knee and it's unclear if he or Montoya, who was acquired in a trade with Phoenix last week, will get the start tonight.

The Islanders have won two straight on the road, but are still just 10-16-3 as the visiting club this season.

Alex Kovalev registered two goals and set up Peter Regin's game-winner in the third period to lift the Senators to Saturday's 5-3 win in Edmonton. It was the first victory for Ottawa since a 6-3 victory over the Islanders on Jan. 13.

Milan Michalek and Bobby Butler also tallied for the Senators, who are now 2-12-3 since the calendar flipped to 2011. Brian Elliott made 15 saves to notch his first win since December 26.

"You can go around the room and it's a pretty sweet victory for everybody that's involved," said Ottawa defenseman Chris Phillips.

Ottawa captain Daniel Alfredsson missed his second straight game with a back injury on Saturday and is out indefinitely.

The Senators will try to end another losing streak tonight, having dropped their last five games on home ice. Ottawa, which will also host Boston in its next game on Friday, is just 9-15-4 as the home club this season.

After losing the first two meetings of the year against Ottawa, the Isles picked up a 5-3 home win versus the Senators on Feb. 5. The Sens have won six of eight overall against New York and the Islanders have dropped four straight in Ottawa.

Vancouver Canucks at Minnesota Wild

The Vancouver Canucks haven't enjoyed their first two trips to St. Paul this season. They'll make their third and final regular-season trek to the Xcel Energy Center this evening to battle the Minnesota Wild without yet another defenseman and hoping to avoid consecutive regulation defeats for the first time in nearly three months.

The Canucks have been outscored 10-2 in pair of losses in Minnesota this year, sandwiched around a 5-1 home victory over the Wild, and have lost their last four trips there. Having lost four of its last six overall to the Wild, Vancouver is coming off just its second loss in nine games.

Henrik Sedin and Jannik Hansen scored in last night's 3-2 setback to St. Louis that began a three-game road trip. Roberto Luongo gave up three goals on 34 shots to lose in regulation for the first time since a Dec. 5 setback to the Blues. He had gone 16-0-5 in between the regulation defeats.

Of more concern was the loss of Andrew Alberts indefinitely due to a broken wrist. He is just the latest blue line injury and joins fellow defensemen Dan Hamhuis (concussion), Keith Ballard (knee), Alex Edler (back) and Lee Sweatt (foot) on the sidelines.

"Injuries are part of the game and as a group you've got to pull together and find ways to win hockey games," Canucks head coach Alain Vigneault told his team's website. "Obviously we're getting tested right now, but we're going to fly to Minnesota and have a couple of good meetings [Tuesday] and come up with a plan that's going to give us an opportunity to win [Tuesday] night."

That plan will include trying to avoid consecutive regulation losses for the first time since Nov. 20-21.

The Canucks still lead the NHL with 81 points, four more than the Flyers, and could opt to give Luongo a rest tonight. The netminder gave up six goals in his only start versus the Wild this year on Oct. 19 in Minnesota and is 1-3 in his last four against the club while allowing 19 goals for a 5.70 goals- against average.

Backup Cory Schneider is 2-1-0 with a 1.80 GAA versus Minnesota in his career.

The Wild will be aiming to match their longest winning streak of the season, a four-game run from Jan. 2-8, tonight after Saturday's 3-1 victory in St. Louis gave them a sweep of the home-and-home set.

Niklas Backstrom made 24 saves and Cal Clutterbuck scored for the third time in two games, while Antti Miettinen and Kyle Brodziak also scored. The Wild won their fourth straight home game and are 9-2-0 in their last 11 overall to sit in a tie for ninth in the Western Conference and a point back of potential playoff spot.

"I thought for 40 minutes, they had about six minutes that I felt they were kind of controlling," Wild head coach Todd Richards said of the first two periods. "But other than that, I thought for 34 minutes we played some real good hockey, and got contributions from everyone."

Backstrom has also faced the Canucks just once this, beating Luongo on Oct. 19 with 25 saves, and is 3-0-1 in his last four versus Vancouver.

Dallas Stars at Edmonton Oilers

The Dallas Stars have struggled over their last nine games. The result has been a loss of first place in the super-tight Pacific Division.

 The Oilers could be the perfect opponent for the Stars to get on track against. Dallas has won all three meetings this year, as well as five straight and 13 of the last 17 matchups overall, and is going for its first series sweep of Edmonton since 2007-08.

The Oilers have dropped two straight and nine of their last 12 at home to the Stars and are currently last in the NHL with 40 points. They have lost seven of eight and 21 of their last 25 overall.

Edmonton managed just 12 shots in Sunday's 4-0 loss to Anaheim. Devan Dubnyk was pulled in the third period after yielding the four goals on 15 shots, while Nikolai Khabibulin halted all seven pucks fired his way in relief.

The Oilers have now lost the first three contests of a six-game homestand and seven straight as the host overall. Edmonton is just 7-17-4 in front of the fans at Rexall Place this year.

"We got booed and it should have been louder," Oilers center Sam Gagner said. "People have been patient. We're expected to finish where we are now and we never expected it in here. When it happens guys have to be more upset about it, and not to say we're not upset, but guys have to call each other out."

Captain Shawn Horcoff missed his second straight game due to bronchitis and is doubtful for tonight.

Oilers head coach Tom Renney has a choice to make in net tonight. Dubnyk has lost both of his previous career starts against Dallas, yielding 10 goals on 67 shots, but Khabibulin has lost 14 straight starts overall since his last victory on Dec. 16. The veteran is 6-5-1 with a 2.57 goals-against average in his last 12 versus the Stars.

Lehtonen is 4-1-0 with a 2.41 GAA in his career when facing the Oilers.

The Stars will seek to get on track tonight with a sixth straight series victory and season sweep over the Edmonton Oilers at Rexall Place, but will have to do so without leading scorer Brad Richards.

Dallas capped a five-game winning streak with a victory over Edmonton on Jan. 20 and strengthened their hold on the top spot in the Pacific Division. However, a 2-6-1 run since has dropped the Stars into a tie with the Ducks for second place in the division, one point back of the Coyotes.

That last victory over the Oilers also stretched the Stars' club-record road winning streak to eight straight games, but they have lost four straight as the guest since and open three-game swing through Western Canada tonight.

Dallas scored first in Sunday's home meeting with Columbus, but lost a 2-1 decision. Richards had the goal to give him four tallies and two assists over his last six games, while Kari Lehtonen made 37 saves in net.

"It was a pretty hard-fought game," said Stars forward Steve Ott. "We had Kari playing phenomenal back there for us, but it just wasn't enough."

Richards, though, will not accompany the club on its road trip after suffering an undisclosed injury versus the Blue Jackets. He is tops on the club with 39 assists and 63 points, while his 24 goals match Brenden Morrow for the team high.

"Brad would like to join us, but we think it's the best measure for him to stay behind and get him back to 100 percent. We're going to be cautious with him," said Stars head coach Marc Crawford.

Defenseman Nicklas Grossman left the loss in the first period with a groin injury and is questionable for tonight.

Scheen shoots on Thomas (Photo: Graig Abel/NHLI via Getty Images)

zoom

(Photo: Graig Abel/NHLI via Getty Images)
Share This

Share This

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to FarkAdd to TwitterAdd to Stumble UponAdd to Reddit
Print this Story


TSN TweetBox
© 2014
All rights reserved.
Bell Media Television