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Hurricanes vs. Maple Leafs pre-game notes

The Toronto Maple Leafs will take on the Carolina Hurricanes tonight in game number 51 of 82. Neither team has been overly impressive lately, although the Maple Leafs are coming off of a 4-3 shootout win over the Panthers.

Game time is 7 PM in Toronto. The game can be seen on TSN and RDS, and heard on Toronto radio station AM640.


Last 10 games: 4-5-1

The Maple Leafs just managed to sneak by the Florida Panthers on Tuesday night. The Leafs jumped out to a 1-0 lead seven minutes in thanks to a goal by Kris Versteeg, and led the game 3-2 with four minutes to go when Cory Stillman tied it for the Panthers. The game eventually went to a shootout, where Colby Armstrong scored the winner on a slick backhand move.

Leafs goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere made 30 saves on 33 shots in that game, but will be the back up tonight for the Leafs; James Reimer will get the start in net.

Reimer is 4-3-0 in seven starts this season. In eight appearances, he has a goals against average of 2.24 and a save percentage of .933. He is currently in his second stint with the Leafs.

Also returning to the lineup for the Buds tonight will be forward Fredrik Sjostrom, but at a cost. Sjostrom, who has four points in 42 games this season, is returning to the lineup because Mike Brown will miss the next two weeks with an upper-body injury he sustained during the Leafs' win over Florida. It is believed he suffered the injury from a hit he took from Panthers defenceman Keaton Ellerby. Brown did not return to the game

The Leafs will also be without John Mitchell (knee) and Colton Orr (concussion) tonight. Mitchell has resumed practicing while Orr remains on the injured reserve.


Last 10 games: 5-5-0

Carolina is coming off of a 3-2 loss to the Boston Bruins on Tuesday night. Both goals came from defenceman as rookie Jamie McBain collected his fourth of the season at 11:25 of the second period while veteran Joe Corvo scored on the power play at 8:05 of the third, extending his point streak to six straight games.

Cam Ward, who will start in net tonight for Carolina, made 30 saves in that game. In 44 games this season, the first overall draft pick of the inaugural NHL All-Star Fantasy Draft has a record of 22-16-5, a save percentage of .919 and a goals against average of 2.71.

Jeff Skinner scored nine goals and five assists in 14 games in the month of January to earn Rookie of the Month honours. The Hurricanes went 6-1-0 in games were Skinner scored at least one goal.

Carolina forward Jussi Jokinen left during Tuesday's game against the Bruins with a lower-body injury, but it's not believed to be serious.

Follow me on Twitter @LukasHardonk for more Maple Leafs coverage.


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