Leafs, Preds battle in Toronto

(SportsNetwork.com) – The Toronto Maple Leafs hope to avoid posting their
longest losing streak of the season on Tuesday night as they play host to the
Nashville Predators.

The Leafs are on their fourth two-game slide of the campaign, having had a
three-game winning streak snapped with a 2-1 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins
on Friday night. They then failed to rebound the following night, instead
getting blown out 6-2 by the Buffalo Sabres.

David Clarkson and Phil Kessel scored, while Cody Franson had an assist to
extend his point streak to seven straight games. He has two goals and seven
helpers over that run.

Kessel, meanwhile, is tied for fourth in the NHL with 11 goals and third in
points with 22.

However, James Reimer gave up six goals on 35 shots in defeat.

“This wasn’t our night,” Reimer said.

Jonathan Bernier figures to draw the start in net tonight for the Leafs and is
a healthy 8-2-0 in his career versus the Predators with a 1.91 goals against
average, .933 save percentage and two shutouts in 10 starts.

Nashville has won four of its past five, picking up a 2-1 victory over the
Winnipeg Jets on Saturday.

James Neal tallied to tie the game in the second period and Craig Smith had
the winning goal with 2:02 left in regulation as he converted a feed from
Calle Jarnkrok.

Pekka Rinne stopped 21-of-22 shots for Nashville, which saw head coach Peter
Laviolette win his 400th NHL game.

“It was the key to the game to get the puck through,” noted Smith. “I think
shots on net against them, they were pretty low in the league. We had to make
sure to do a pretty good job at staying in front and getting our second

Despite having a franchise rookie-record seven-game point streak end in
Saturday’s win, forward Filip Forsberg was named the NHL’s Third Star for the
week on Monday. He had netted seven goals in his previous six games as well.

Rinne is 2-2-0 with a 3.15 GAA and .894 save percentage in five career
meetings with the Leafs.

Nashville and Toronto split two encounters last season, with each club picking
up a victory on the road.