Maple Leafs-Canucks Preview

The Associated Press

Given their recent results against the Vancouver Canucks, the Toronto Maple Leafs would appear to have a considerable challenge when they try for their longest winning streak of the season Saturday.

The Maple Leafs have been outscored 44-21 in dropping 10 in a row to Vancouver but have been better at keeping opponents out of the net this season, especially during their three straight victories.

Toronto (10-4-0) has outscored opponents 12-3 during its last three games despite getting outshot in each contest. Calgary had 43 shots to the Maple Leafs' 22 on Wednesday, but Jonathan Bernier made 41 saves in a 4-2 win.

James Reimer made 43 saves in a 4-0 rout of Edmonton on Tuesday, a game in which Toronto had 17 fewer shots. The Atlantic Division-leading Leafs are in the top 10 in the NHL with 2.29 goals allowed per game after finishing no higher than 17th in that category in any of the prior eight seasons.

That's despite letting their opponents register 36.1 shots per contest, the second-highest average in the league.

"It's the whole team. It's not just me and (Reimer)," Bernier said. "It's just the way we're playing. Even if we give up a lot of shots, we're playing pretty good defensively."

The Maple Leafs haven't been so skilled at stopping the Canucks (9-5-1) in recent matchups.

Vancouver's 10 straight wins in the series is the NHL's second-longest active streak versus one opponent behind Chicago's 11-game run against Columbus.

The Canucks have never earned 11 straight wins over any opponent. They also won 10 in a row over Colorado until a 4-3 loss April 13.

The Maple Leafs' last win over the Canucks and most recent victory in the past six visits to Vancouver came during a home-and-home sweep Nov. 22-24, 2003.

The Canucks will try to extend that drought while bouncing back from the end to a season-high four-game win streak. Vancouver's 2-1 loss to Detroit on Wednesday was its fifth consecutive game decided by one goal or in a shootout.

Daniel Sedin gave his team the lead after one period with his fourth goal in five games, and twin brother, Henrik, extended his point streak to 10 games by assisting on that score.

Vancouver went 0 for 3 on the power play and is 2 for 31 in the last 13 games. Toronto has killed off 17 of 19 penalties in its last five contests.

"We've got to go out there with a mindset that we have to score goals," Henrik Sedin said. "We can't be thinking about setting guys up or getting the right shot.

"There comes a time where you have to get people in front and throw pucks at the net and maybe get a bounce that way because it's been too long now."

Vancouver signed the Sedins to four-year contract extensions Friday, reportedly worth $28 million apiece. Daniel Sedin has a team-best 18 points (seven goals, 11 assists) during the win streak over Toronto.

Henrik Sedin is second with 16 points (two goals, 14 assists) while Alex Burrows has a team-leading eight goals and seven assists during that run.

Toronto's Phil Kessel has four goals and two assists in his last five games against Vancouver. Kessel had seven goals and three assists in his previous four contests before being held without a point Wednesday.

Maple Leafs forward Carter Ashton won't play Saturday after being suspended two games for boarding Calgary's Derek Smith.

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