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Leafs, Stars in rare meeting at Toronto

Monday, November 22nd, 2010 | 9:31 am

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What's at stake

Marc Crawford's posse saddles up for a rare journey to Toronto, a hockey hotbed the Dallas Stars haven't visited in almost two years. The Toronto Maple Leafs have won their last two games on home ice, 5-4 over Nashville and 3-1 over New Jersey, while Dallas was outscored 12-3 in dropping its last three road games. Scoring might be at a premium, with Dallas getting just three goals in its last three road games and Toronto being shut out in four of its last 11 overall.

Players to watch

Dallas —James Neal

Neal is on a four-game point streak (three goals, four assists) and has enjoyed success versus the Maple Leafs, notching his only NHL hat trick in an 8-2 win in the Stars' last visit to Toronto on Dec. 23, 2008, plus the only OT winner of his NHL career in a 4-3 win over the Maple Leafs at Dallas on Oct. 28, 2009.

Toronto —Tyler Bozak

Bozak has five points in 19 games this season, putting the sophomore pro on a pace for just 22 points after posting 27 points in 37 games as a rookie. “It is still pretty early in the season so the points are going to come. Not too worried about that,” he said. Maybe so, but Bozak needs a breakout performance now.

Goaltending matchup

Dallas —Kari Lehtonen

Lehtonen has a 9-6-1 record and a 2.82 goals-against average with the Stars this season, but he is winless with a 3.70 GAA in three career starts at Toronto.

Toronto —Jonas Gustavsson

Gustavsson posted a season-high 37 saves in this past Saturday's 2-0 loss at Montreal. Toronto has scored two goals or less in four of his seven appearances.

Injury report

Dallas —None.

Toronto —Colby Armstrong (finger), J.S. Giguere (groin), Dion Phaneuf (leg).

The series

This marks the lone meeting between the Stars and Maple Leafs this season.

What they said

“[We're] kind of going into a bee's nest and our road performance hasn't been so great lately. This could be good. We had a great homestand and if we can take that same kind of presence onto the road, hopefully, we can pull some big points out of there.” — Stars forward Steve Ott on playing at Toronto

“As long as we start winning a little bit more here, we're not too far out of the playoff race now.” — Maple Leafs forward Tyler Bozak

CBC News

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