Toronto Maple Leafs
7:30 p.m., CONSOL Energy Center, Pittsburgh, Pennslyvania
The Penguins are back on the ice riding a six game winning streak and got some even better news yesterday when they learned that captain Sidney Crosby was cleared for contact and could be back on the ice, in game action, as soon as Sunday against the Boston Bruins. All that is left is to hear some good news on Kris Letang but I have read some things that says he was not diagnosed with a concussion but was still suffering from some minor concussion-like symptoms. No idea what that even means.
The Penguins will be taking on the Leafs tonight and the team from North of the border hasn't been playing some very good hockey of late. After starting off the season on a playoff pace they are now fourth in the Northeast Division and only two points ahead of the New York Islanders. Brutal.
The Leafs are 2-7-1 in the last 10 games and is 2-10-1 in the last 13. Really brutal. The Leafs fired Ron Wilson about a week ago and they were finally able to earn a win with new coach Randy Carlyle and then they dropped a game last night to the Bruins 5-4.
More bad news for the Leafs as they lost one of their best offensive weapons this season, Joffrey Lupul, with a separated shoulder. That is going to be a big help for the Penguins as Lupul has had a pretty outstanding year. Mikhail Grabovski just signed a new five-year contract that is worth $27.5 million, so there's that.
The season series (Toronto leads 2-1):
October 29, 2011 - Toronto 4, Pittsburgh 3
January 31, 2012 - Pittsburgh 5, Toronto 4 (SO)
February 1, 2012 - Toronto 1, Pittsburgh 0
The Penguins probables (via Empty Netters):
Chris Kunitz - Evgeni Malkin - James Neal
Steve Sullivan - Jordan Staal - Pascal Dupuis
Matt Cooke - Joe Vitale - Tyler Kennedy
Arron Asham - Craig Adams - Richard Park
Brooks Orpik - Zbynek Michalek
Matt Niskanen - Paul Martin
Brian Strait - Ben Lovejoy
The Leafs probables (via Empty Netters):
Matt Fattin - Tyler Bozak - Phil Kessel
Clarke MacArthur - Mikhai Grabovski - Nikolai Kulemin
Tim Connolly - David Steckel - Carter Ashton
Jay Rosehill - Matthew Lombardi - Joey Crabb
Carl Gunnarsson - Dion Phaneuf
Jake Gardiner - Luke Schenn
John-Michael Liles - Mike Komisarek