Posted October 28, 2013 on
AP on Fox
Toronto Maple Leafs
James Reimer and Jonathan Bernier have provided the Toronto Maple Leafs with a trustworthy goaltending tandem, which is something the Edmonton Oilers only wish they could boast.
Both teams are dealing with their share of injuries, though.
Toronto looks to a win a fifth straight meeting with the Oilers as the teams face off Tuesday night in Edmonton.
The Maple Leafs (8-4-0) are tied atop the Eastern Conference, and their play in net deserves plenty of credit. Reimer and Bernier have combined for a .928 save percentage that ranks near the top of the league despite facing 34.9 shots per game, which is among the highest in the NHL.
"I think that's been the story of our season, for the most part," forward James van Riemsdyk said. "There's been stretches where we get outshot, but our goaltending is making big saves for us. They've gave us a chance almost every night."
Reimer made 37 saves in Saturday's 4-1 win over Pittsburgh in his first start since Oct. 17, when he suffered an injury after a collision in the opening seconds of a 3-2 loss to Carolina.
"I felt normal right from the get-go," Reimer said. "I didn't feel any uneasiness or uncertainty, really. The puck dropped, and I was ready to stop it."
Stopping pucks hasn't been as easy for Edmonton's goalies. The team is allowing an NHL-worst 3.77 goals per game and ranks last in the league with an .880 save percentage.
With Devan Dubnyk bothered by a minor ankle injury and backup Jason LaBarbera unimpressive in five appearances, Edmonton recalled Richard Bachman from the AHL to start Sunday against Los Angeles. Bachman made a career-high 47 saves, but the Oilers (3-8-2) fell 2-1 in a shootout for their third straight defeat.
Edmonton, which has the fewest points in the West, was outshot 48-18.
"I liked the way we stayed in the fight," coach Dallas Eakins said. "We were under siege, especially in the third. I don't think the guys had a lot left in the tank, but Bachman was excellent."
The Oilers tied their season high for goals allowed in a 6-5 overtime loss to the Maple Leafs on Oct. 12 with Dubnyk in net, and it's unclear who will start this game.
Ryan Smyth scored twice in the first meeting with Toronto, but he has sat out the last four with a groin injury while Taylor Hall continues to recover from a left knee injury.
The Maple Leafs have some injury concerns of their own. Joffrey Lupul has missed the last two games with a right foot injury but could return Tuesday, while Tyler Bozak will be out at least one week with a lower-body injury suffered in Friday's 5-2 loss to Columbus.
Bozak's absence allowed for Nazem Kadri to move up to the first line with van Riemsdyk and Kessel on Saturday. Kadri scored, van Riemsdyk had two assists and Kessel - who has five goals in the last three - added a goal and an assist.
"We're all on the same page offensively. It was great," Kadri said. "It's not just the offensive side of things, we took care of the D-zone."
Dave Bolland, who scored in OT to beat the Oilers earlier this month, had two goals against Pittsburgh. He has six goals in 12 games after scoring seven in 35 contests with Chicago last season.
Kessel has six goals and five assists in his last seven against Edmonton.
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
Heading into the 2013 NHL season the major topic of conversation when it came to the Toronto Maple Leafs was their goaltender situation.
The Leafs, who have both James Reimer and Jonathan Bernier in-goal, have decided to let the two battle for the top spot throughout the season. Head coach Randy Carlyle has dealt with the situation amicably. Carlyle has decided to give the net to...
This is Nazem Kadri's opportunity.
With Tyler Bozak expected to miss at least a week because of a lower-body injury, the Toronto Maple Leafs are counting on Kadri to fill his spot as the first-line centre between James van Riemsdyk and Phil Kessel. If Saturday night's showing against the Pittsburgh Penguins was any indication, Kadri is well-suited for that promotion, even...
Earlier this year rumors started to ramp up involving the possibility of a second hockey team in the Greater Toronto Area. Those rumors only intensified when Rogers & Bell partnered up to purchased MLSE and GTA Sports and Entertainment proposed to build an NHL-size arena in Markham just outside of Toronto.
All of these intense rumors have been suggesting that there is a serious...
To an Easterner, it’s a mystery why a town in Alberta would be called Fort Saskatchewan. Isn’t Saskatchewan the province next door?
In any event, that’s where Joffrey Lupul was born three decades ago, just 10 miles or so down the highway from here. He grew up besotted with the Oilers and, for one season, was part of the oil-drop tribe.
So there will be tons of Lupuls at Rexall...
Phil Kessel is on a roll for the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Kessel had two goals and two assists on Tuesday and the Maple Leafs won their second game in a row, defeating the Edmonton Oilers 4-0.
The 26-year-old winger has seven goals and 10 points in his past four games to move into a tie for second place in the NHL's point-scoring race.
"I've just been getting a couple...
Saturday Night the Penguins faced off against the Toronto Maple Leafs. James Reimer managed to make 38 saves as he lead the Leafs to a 4-1 victory in Toronto.
The first period was a tough exchange for who could get the most penalties. For the most part back and forth. There were also goals. The first was scored by Pittsburgh when Pittsburgh's fan favorite Kris Letang buried...
Sportsnet's Nick Kypreos reported via Twitter that negotiating perimeters between the Maple Leafs and representatives for team captain Dion Phaneuf would have the pending unrestricted free agent signing a contract extension for more than $7 Million per season.
Is #Leafs Phaneuf worth 50M over 7 yrs? I'm hearing bar has been set in talks and that's where it starts...
Phil Kessel has scored five goals in three games, including a hat-trick against Anaheim, his fourth in his career.
This past week has been good for Phil Kessel. He recorded his fourth career hat-trick (second as a Leaf) in a 4-2 win the over the Anaheim Ducks, scored a goal in a 5-2 loss against the Columbus Blue Jackets, and scored another goal in a 4-1 win over the Pittsburgh...
The HockeyCentral at Noon guys on Sportsnet discuss the report from Nick Kypreos that contract talks have started with Dion Phaneuf and the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Kypreos states the starting point is around $50M for 7 years.
Phil Kessel has one of the most accurate wrist shots in the NHL, and he showed it off during the Toronto Maple Leafs’ game against the Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday night.
During the second period, the former All-Star winger unleashed a shot from an incredibly difficult angle at the edge of the trapezoid that found the top portion of the net before Oilers goaltender Richard Bachman...
The Maple Leafs have recalled veteran defenseman John-Michael Liles from the Toronto Marlies of the American Hockey League.
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...
The Maple Leafs formula for victory this season has been a combination of great goaltending, effective special teams and getting outshot by at least 10 shots, which was followed to a tee on Saturday night, as James Reimer made 37 saves in a 4-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins at the Air Canada Center.
Nazem Kadri, who replaced the injured Tyler Bozak on Torontoâs top...
Leafs TV's Paul Hendrick reports that Toronto will start goaltender Jonathan Bernier in the second of back-to-back games Wednesday night in Calgary, which might be mildly surprising since James Reimer has played fantastic in wins against Pittsburgh and a 43 save shutout in Edmonton on Tuesday night.
This should not be perceived as a slight towards Reimer, because head coach...
James Reimer wanted to keep things simple in his return.
It had been a while since he started a game for the Toronto Maple Leafs.
And his return came against Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and the potent Pittsburgh Penguins.
''Maybe there was some circumstances surrounding the game, but honestly I didn't really pay much attention to them or think about them much,'...