Originally posted on Fox Sports Florida  |  Last updated 3/26/13
Game time: 7 p.m. ETTV: FOX Sports FloridaThe Toronto Maple Leafs keep scraping out points as they manage to find themselves in a number of tight games recently. But there's room for improvement as the team continues to struggle in shootouts.Nonetheless, they're certainly better off than the Florida Panthers, who own the league's worst record and are still sputtering as they prepare to conclude their season-long five-game road trip Tuesday night at Air Canada Centre.The Maple Leafs (17-12-4) appear to be in a good position to reach the playoffs for the first time since 2004 and end the NHL's longest playoff drought. They currently occupy the sixth spot in the Eastern Conference, six points ahead of ninth place.But they're also fresh off their third shootout loss in five games, blowing a 2-0 lead en route to a 3-2 defeat at Boston on Monday."We are coming out of the wrong end of it, but at the end of the day a point is a point," said Nazem Kadri, whose 35 points lead Toronto. "They add up a lot quicker than no points."Toronto is 0-4 in shootouts this season. Coach Randy Carlyle said he was pleased to escape a home-and-home against the Bruins with three points after his club took a 3-2 home win on Saturday, but said he and his staff tries to help prepare their players for shootouts."We do work on it. We provide video of what the opposition likes to do," Carlyle said. "But it's an individual thing. It's one-on-one. Those are the things that all you can do is provide the information you think is important to the situation."The Panthers (9-18-6) have lost eight of 10 and two in a row, totaling just one goal over the last two defeats. They were shut out for the fifth time this season, falling 3-0 to the Islanders on Sunday.Florida averaged 2.5 goals in its first 23 games, but has been limited to 1.9 per game over its last 10 contests while scoring on just 6.4 percent of shots.Tomas Kopecky and Jonathan Huberdeau are tied for the team lead with 12 goals each, though Kopecky has one goal over his last six games while Huberdeau has gone scoreless in eight straight."We have to find some production," coach Kevin Dineen told the team's official website. "We have to keep encouraging some of the plays that are creating chances, but we need some finish right now."Toronto could use some more production from James van Riemsdyk, who hasn't registered a point in four straight games after recording seven in his previous eight contests. Van Riemsdyk's 22 points this season also rank as the third most for the Maple Leafs."He's been a great player for us but I think he's in a little bit of a dry spell for us right now," Carlyle said. "We need him to get his feet moving and start to create more."Kadri is riding a five-game point streak with three goals and seven assists, while Phil Kessel has six points in his last five games against Florida.The Panthers have won eight of 11 in the series, though Toronto claimed a 3-0 win in the season's first meeting on Feb. 18 in Sunrise. Ben Scrivens turned away all 37 of Florida's shots for his second shutout of the season while Kadri and Clarke MacArthur each tallied a goal and an assist.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Bulls trade Jimmy Butler to Minnesota for Zach LaVine, Kris Dunn, No. 7 pick

Top 10 takeaways from the 2017 NBA Draft

John Calipari thinks the one-and-done system is working just fine

Luke Walton responds to LaVar Ball saying Lonzo will lead Lakers to playoffs

Report: Spurs, Cavs trade talks now include LaMarcus Aldridge

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

LaVar Ball says ‘Zeus and Jesus’ told him Lonzo would go to Lakers

Cavs are reportedly talking about a trade for Danny Green with Spurs

Kings reportedly showing major interest in Andre Drummond

WATCH: George Springer exits game after HBP

Chiefs part ways with GM John Dorsey

Oilers, Islanders swap Jordan Eberle for Ryan Strome

Sports & Politics Intersect: Washington gets a rare win

The 'NBA Draft going back to school?' quiz

2016-17 NBA Awards: The Gary Payton Award for best trash talk of the year

It’s quarterback contract silly season, starting with Derek Carr

Feeding your roundball addiction through the summer months

2017 NBA Mock Draft

Box Score 6/22: Emotion-filled Knight for Pens fans, Preds fans... and Knicks fans

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

The 'Golden Knights will begin with a Fleury of activity' quiz

2016-17 NBA Awards: The Ricky Davis Award for most irrationally confident shooter

It's time for Satchel Paige Day in Major League Baseball

Which vets the Vegas Golden Knights should build around

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Sports & Politics Intersect: Washington gets a rare win

The 'NBA Draft going back to school?' quiz

2016-17 NBA Awards: The Gary Payton Award for best trash talk of the year

It’s quarterback contract silly season, starting with Derek Carr

The 'Golden Knights will begin with a Fleury of activity' quiz

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Feeding your roundball addiction through the summer months

2016-17 NBA Awards: The Ricky Davis Award for most irrationally confident shooter

It's time for Satchel Paige Day in MLB

Which vets the Vegas Golden Knights should build around

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker