Two slumping teams meet tonight in downtown Toronto at the Air Canada centre tonight as the Maple Leafs (8-11-5) play host to the Canadiens (12-8-3). Toronto has lost six of their last seven games and has only managed to score 14 goals during that time frame, prior to that they were near the league lead for offensive production averaging close to three and a half goals per game. Montreal has lost three of four and not won consecutive games since early November.
After being swept by the resurgent Buffalo Sabres on the weekend Canadiens head coach Guy Carbonneau has done some tinkering to the Canadiens line-up as Guillaume Latendresse will find himself on the Canadiens top line with Chris Higgins and Saku Koivu. Michael Ryder slips down to the third line where he will be joined by Kyle Chipchura and Mathieu Dandenault.
Carey Price will be in goal tonight for the Canadiens. Price has a 4-2 record on the road but lost his last start in Buffalo on Friday. Vesa Toskala is due to start against the Canadiens. Toskala is 2-0 lifetime versus Montreal.
The Leafs are also expected to do some line juggling as Mark Bell will begin the evening on the Leafs top trio with Mats Sundin and Nik Antropov. On the injury front Chad Kilger may return to the line-up tonight after missing four games with an ankle injury and Jiri Tlusty may also return after missing Saturday’s game with an undisclosed ailment.
1. The Maple Leafs are 0-3-2 this season on Tuesday nights while the Canadiens are 1-0-2 with their sole win coming against the Leafs 2 weeks ago.
2. The Leafs have picked up at least a point in 5 consecutive games against the Canadiens. But all have those games have been close decided by a single goal; in fact 9 of the last 11 meetings between Montreal and Toronto have been decided by just one goal.
3. Andrei Kostitsyn has just 6 goals in his young career but 3 of them have come while playing the Leafs.