MAPLE LEAFS (25-20-5) AT COYOTES (23-16-9)
Season series: This is the second of two games between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Phoenix Coyotes. James Reimer made 34 saves in Toronto's 2-1 shootout victory on Dec. 19.
Big story: The Coyotes enter tonight’s game riding a seven-game point streak (6-0-1) against the Maple Leafs. Phoenix last lost to Toronto on Oct. 23, 2003. Toronto arrives to Phoenix on a season-high four-game winning streak. The game against the Coyotes starts a four-game road trip in six days for the Maple Leafs, who are 8-10-4 away from Air Canada Centre.
Coyotes: Phoenix got 34 saves from Mike Smith in a 3-2 victory against the New Jersey Devils on Saturday and won two games in a row for the first time in almost six weeks. The Coyotes have not won three straight since a five-game winning streak from Oct. 26 to Nov. 5.
"Usually to win consecutive games, you have to play well in consecutive games so that's a positive sign for us," said Dave Tippett, who is 3-0-1 vs. Toronto as head coach of the Coyotes.
Martin Hanzal's power-play goal in the second period turned out to be the game winner vs. the Devils. The Coyotes have scored a power-play goal in seven straight games.
Smith, who owns a 3-0-2 record with a 2.10 goals-against average and a .934 save percentage in five career games against the Maple Leafs, will start in goal.
Forward Dave Moss will face his first cousin/Maple Leafs forward Phil Kessel for the eighth time in their NHL careers. Moss and his teams have a 5-1-1 record against Kessel an his teams.
Maple Leafs: Toronto broke a 3-3 tie with the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday night with a late third-period goal before adding an empty netter in a 5-3 victory. Although the Maple Leafs scored once in the first, they had 12 shots on goal and one of their better starts to a game this season.
"We haven't started that strong in a while. We continued to push the game and continued to push the pace of the game. Throughout the whole night, we elevated our game," Maple Leafs captain Dion Phaneuf said.
Nazem Kadri had two assists to go along with five big hits in the win that put the Maple Leafs within four points of the third-place Canadiens in the Atlantic Division.
"The magnitude of this game was huge. For us to chase that top spot in the division is still a realistic goal for us and we knew we had to come out and play against a very good team" Kadri said.
Who's hot: Defenseman Keith Yandle will enter the game vs. the Leafs riding a three-game point streak (4 assists). He leads the team with nine multi-point games and Phoenix is 7-1-1 in those games. Smith has allowed four goals in three games, good for a .951 save percentage... Kessel has a five-game point scoring streak (three goals, seven assists). Forward James van Riemsdyk has a goal in four of his past five games.
Injury report: Coyotes center Martin Hanzal will not play because of a lower-body injury. He is considered day-to-day...Maple Leafs forwards David Clarkson (elbow) Dave Bolland (ankle surgery) and Trevor Smith (broken hand) are on injured reserve.
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