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Leafs look to Reimer in goal as Hurricanes visit Toronto

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The Sports Network with files from TSN.ca
12/13/2011 12:03:16 PM
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(Sports Network) - The Toronto Maple Leafs will look to James Reimer in goal this evening as they try and avoid a fifth loss in six games when they host the Carolinia Hurricanes.

Reimer is winless (0-2-1) since returning from a six-week absence due to concussion-like symptoms.

The Maple Leafs dropped a 4-2 decision to the hosting Washington Capitals on Friday. All four of Washington's goals came on the power play, while Cody Franson and Phil Kessel lit the lamp for Toronto.

Reimer gave up all four goals on 25 shots in the loss.

"For the most part I thought we outplayed them tonight," Reimer said following the game. "But we gave them some power plays and they took advantage of them."

Kessel's 18th goal of the season tied him with Ottawa's Milan Michalek for the most in the league, while his 36 points rank second. Kessel had both Toronto goals in the earlier loss to Carolina.

Leafs centre Matthew Lombardi skated with teammates on Tuesday, the first time since suffering a shoulder injury in mid-November. He's aiming for a return after Christmas.

The last time the Hurricanes faced the Maple Leafs, second-year centre Jeff Skinner was a key offensive contributor. Carolina, though, will be without the reigning Calder Trophy winner for this evening's rematch.

Skinner had a goal and an assist in a 3-2 home win over the Maple Leafs, the Hurricanes' sixth victory in their last eight in this series. Skinner's goal was the game-winner and came with under seven minutes to play in regulation, giving him three goals in five career matchups with Toronto.

The 19-year-old, though, missed Friday's 4-2 loss to Winnipeg and Carolina said on Sunday that Skinner is out with an undisclosed injury.  According to the Hurricanes, Skinner will see a doctor in Raleigh on Wednesday.

Skinner leads the 'Canes with 12 goals and 24 points and his club found itself in a 4-0 hole versus the Jets before getting goals from Justin Faulk and Brandon Sutter. Still, Carolina lost for the eighth time in nine games and fell to 1-5 under head coach Kirk Muller, who took over for a fired Paul Maurice on Nov. 28.

Cam Ward got the start on Friday, but allowed four goals on 30 shots before getting pulled in the second period. He yielded a score just 34 seconds into the game and was replaced by Mike Murphy, who made seven saves.

"It's the old saying, catch-up hockey is losing hockey," Muller said. "We got to learn from it, we got to come out better and we have to play the first period like we played the third."

After being acquired from Montreal earlier in the day for Tomas Kaberle, blueliner Jaroslav Spacek assisted on both Hurricane goals as they fell to 1-2 on a four-game road trip and 4-9-2 as the guest overall this season.

Carolina had won five in a row at Toronto before getting shut out 3-0 in its last trip there on Feb. 3.

James Reimer (Photo: Elsa/Getty Images)

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(Photo: Elsa/Getty Images)

TSN's Game Notes

CAR is 1-0-0 vs TOR this season, winning at home

Teams split two games in TOR last season

CAR has gone 5-1-0 over their past 6 games in TOR

TOR:
TOR has gone 1-3-1 over their past 5 games, allowing 19G

TOR has gone 1-4-2 over their past 7 home games, allowing 5 or more goals in 4 of the games

TOR's PK has gone 4/10 over the past 2 games (0-1-1), they've allowed 1G at even strength

Kessel has 2G, 2A during a 3 game PT streak

CAR:
CAR has gone 1-7-1 over their past 9 games, with a GAA of 3.89

CAR has gone 2-8-1 over their past 11 road games, scoring 2 or fewer goals in 6 of the games

Staal has 2G, 3A during a 3 game PT streak

Ward has gone 1-2-0 over his past 4 starts, with a 5.38GAA, and a .842sv%

Ward has gone 4-1-0 over his past 5 starts in TOR with a .938sv%

For games notes for all of tonight's games, click here.

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