Maple Leafs-Flames Preview

Associated Press  |  Last updated October 30, 2013
Phil Kessel has figured into 10 of the Toronto Maple Leafs' last 14 goals. With seven goals and three assists in the last four games, he'll keep firing away Wednesday night when the Leafs' road trip takes them to Calgary to face a Flames team seeking its fourth straight home win. Kessel scored twice and added two assists in Tuesday's 4-0 win over Edmonton as the Leafs (9-4-0) started a three-game trip on an impressive note. He's tied for second in the league with 18 points, and the four-point night moved the Leafs into sole possession of the Atlantic Division lead. "Puck luck is part of it, but skilled players find a way to get goals," Leafs coach Randy Carlyle said. "The puck kind of follows those guys around. He doesn't need many opportunities to score." James Reimer stopped 43 shots for his first shutout of the season and improved to 4-0-0 as the Leafs were outshot for a 10th straight game. He made 37 saves in Saturday's 4-1 win over Pittsburgh. He's faced at least 37 shots in four of his six starts and now boasts a .949 save percentage. "As a team, I don't think we want to give up 40-plus shots, but having said that, I don't think it was as dangerous as the quantity suggested," Reimer said. "Our defense and our whole team did a heck of a job of eliminating second chances." The Leafs have won three of four and are tied for fourth in the league in scoring (3.31). The Flames (5-4-2) are having some issues keeping the puck out of their net, ranking 29th in goals-against average (3.46). They've allowed three or more goals in seven of 11 games, and are the league's only team yet to hold an opponent to fewer than two goals in a game this season. One of those two-goal games came in a 5-2 home win Saturday against Washington. Michael Cammalleri had two goals and an assist and Kris Russell had one of each to help Calgary improve to 3-0-1 on home ice. Cammalleri has three goals and two assists in four games after missing the start of the season with a hand injury. Calgary had allowed 17 goals in its previous four games. "We weren't happy with the way we had come out to start the previous games," Russell said. "We knew that we were behind the 8-ball and we didn't want to have it happen, especially to a team like this. We did a good job of really making sure we were focused from the start and ready for that first shift." Things won't get any easier defensively with captain Mark Giordano out. The Flames announced Tuesday that the defenseman will miss 6-8 weeks with a broken ankle. He took a shot off the right ankle in the second period at Los Angeles on Oct. 21. Winger Lee Stempniak is also out after he suffered a broken bone in his right foot blocking a shot last week in Dallas. Giordano and Stempniak are tied for third on the team with nine points, trailing rookie Sean Monahan with 10 and Jiri Hudler's 13. The Leafs have lost seven straight in Calgary, the last five in regulation. Their last win there came Dec. 27, 2002.
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