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Game #56 Sat, 11 Feb 2012 Canadiens @ Maple Leafs


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Game #56 Sat, 11 Feb 2012 7:00 PM CBC, RDS(HD), NHLN-US(HD)

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Nikolai Kulemin was not at Leafs' practice Friday afternoon because his wife went into labour. Colby Armstrong took his spot on the second line with Clarke MacArthur and Mikhail Grabovski.

James Reimer gets the start in goal as the Leafs look to snap a two-game losing skid against the Habs on Saturday.

Head coach Ron Wilson defended the struggling Tim Connolly following practice on Friday. Connolly has gone 15 straight games without a goal and has just one in the last 25. "Lots of players go through little dry spells like this," Wilson said.

Friday's Practice Lines

Forwards:

Lupul - Bozak - Kessel

MacArthur - Grabovski - Armstrong

Lombardi - Connolly - Crabb

Brown - Steckel - Boyce

Defence:

Gunnarsson - Phaneuf

Liles - Franson/Komisarek

Gardiner - Schenn

Goaltender:

Reimer

Gustavsson

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Canadiens and Leafs renew hostilities...

LAST 10: Montreal 5-4-1; Maple Leafs 6-3-1.

Season Series: This is the fourth of six meetings this season between the two Original Six rivals who will close out their seasons against each other on April 7. Toronto shut out the Habs 2-0 on opening night before topping the Canadiens 5-4 in overtime two weeks later. In their last meeting, Montreal beat the Leafs 3-1 thanks to third-period goals from Raphael Diaz and Lars Eller.

Big Story: Despite back-to-back losses at Winnipeg and Philadelphia, Toronto is still in the thick of the Eastern Conference playoff race while Montreal's hopes of making the postseason are hanging by a thread. The Canadiens have shown some signs of life in winning their last three games and Scott Gomez scored his first goal in more than a year Thursday night, inspiring spirited celebration among his teammates. With two months left in the regular season, this could be a pivotal matchup for both teams.

Team Scope:

Canadiens: After losing their first three games following the All-Star break, all against Eastern Conference teams, Montreal's hopes to make the playoffs appeared completely dashed. But three straight wins, also all against Eastern Conference competition, have energized the team and allowed the faintest glimmer of hope that the Canadiens might redeem their difficult season. Coming off a 3-2 shootout win over the Penguins, Montreal visited the Islanders on Thursday to play a team also looking to catch up with the Eastern Conference playoff pack. The Canadiens got off to a great start when Max Pacioretty's snapshot from the wing eluded Evgeni Nabokov 1:23 into the game. Pacioretty's second of the game and Gomez's long-overdue marker provided what appeared to be a comfortable 3-0 third-period lead.

But as they have done repeatedly this season, the Canadiens let up late in the game, allowing the Islanders to score twice in 48 seconds and get back in the game. But Pacioretty was able to seal his first-career hat trick with an empty-net goal, putting the puck past the goal line a fraction of a second before the final horn sounded.

Maple Leafs: After opening the month of February with back-to-back shutouts courtesy of James Reimer, the Leafs appeared poised for a late-season playoff push with a 6-3 win over Edmonton on Monday. But Toronto entered a stretch in which it will play five of six on the road with losses against the Jets and Flyers, halting some of their second-half momentum.

At the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia on Thursday, the Leafs twice came back from one-goal deficits against the Flyers. But two goals just 74 seconds apart created a deficit Toronto could not overcome. Tyler Bozak's goal late in the second period made it a one-goal game, but neither team scored in the third and the Leafs came up 4-3 losers.

Who's Hot: With four goals in his last three games, Pacioretty has paced the Habs offense, while Tomas Plekanec has six points in his last eight games and Chris Campoli has a modest two-game point streak. … The trio of Bozak, Joffrey Lupul, and Phil Kessel has been on fire lately, combining for 10 goals and 22 points in the last four games.

Injury Report: Andrei Markov (knee), Brian Gionta (bicep surgery), Petteri Nokelainen (leg), and Mike Blunden (knee surgery) are all on IR for the Canadiens while Yannick Weber is questionable with a lower-body injury. … The Leafs, meanwhile, are fielding a healthy lineup.

Stat Pack: Toronto's offense has led the way most of the season. The team is currently on pace to score 255 goals this season, which would be their most since the 2006-07 season. The Maple Leafs also boast a plus-10 goal differential. If they maintain that figure, it will be their first season with positive goal differential since 2003-04. In the previous four seasons, the team has combined for a minus-158 differential.

Puck Drop: In 52 games this season, Pacioretty has scored 22 goals, a total that exceeds the 20 goals he had in his first 123 NHL games entering this season.

** Mat Sundin To Have His #13 Jersey Honored Tonight

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Canadiens go for four

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Buffalo beat Dallas in a shootout Friday night to move past the Canadiens into 11th place.

But a win in Toronto Saturday evening will keep playoff dreams alive. <_<

well, one of the best. :lol::lol:

your quite high up there as well Blues Man.B):D

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Canadiens go for four

Buffalo beat Dallas in a shootout Friday night to move past the Canadiens into 11th place.

But a win in Toronto Saturday evening will keep playoff dreams alive. <_<

your quite high up there as well Blues Man.B):D

....playoff hopes....lottery pick.....playoff dreams.....lottery pick.....playoff fantasies.....

So many choices, so few wins. Can it be that the Habs are headed for yet another middle-of-the-pack finish? One thing is for sure....if they DO make the playoffs, they will be hot, seeing as how they have to win a large majority of the remaining games.

p.s. Prog Rock and Fusion all the way.

p.p.s. I would have thought that by now they would have named the streets in Montreal. Probably can't decide on which language to use.

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Nice Birthday gift ( actually tomorrow ) would be a habs win over these make-me-laughs here tonight.

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Time to bring out the artillery...

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I really salute CBC putting on HOCKEY DAY IN CANADA...interesting great hockey stories segments it put's on...2 thumbs up CBC......Great day in Canada if your a hockey fan.;)

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I really salute CBC putting on HOCKEY DAY IN CANADA...interesting great hockey stories segments it put's on...2 thumbs up CBC......Great day in Canada if your a hockey fan.;)

What makes it sweeter is that we haven't been force fed Cherry yet. :lol:

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What makes it sweeter is that we haven't been force fed Cherry yet. :lol:

He's not far...:rolleyes:

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Bulldogs got drubbed by the baby Leafs today... White ejected. Couple of fights. Hopefully this projects to a good game tonight in the NHL game, but the opposite result.

GO WHITE

* CAN WE SNEAK HIM INTO TONIGHT'S LINE-UP? :rolleyes:

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Catching the end of a Habs-Leafs game from 2007 on ESPN classics... don't know what's more odd:

1. Seeing Komisarek play for us.

2. Seeing Gill and Kaberle play for Toronto.

3. Seeing Markov play.

4. Seeing the Leafs win!

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So to get that high draft pick we cheer all for the leafs, right? :)

wrong...not tonight....exception made.<_<

:rolleyes:

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Wow, the game is on ESPN! Usually you only see the goons, the phillys and the rangers there. So to get that high draft pick we cheer all for the leafs, right? :)

Bite your tongue. That rule gets tossed out the door against the Leafs. :lol:

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Moen out for tonight,

:angry: dammit

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Just About Game Time Baby! BABY.gif

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