NHL

Flames-Maple Leafs Preview

The Toronto Maple Leafs continue to make life difficult for their goaltenders, though Jonathan Bernier most recently stepped up to key another home victory.

The Calgary Flames have relied on third-period scoring, and it cost them their winning streak.

Toronto will try to hand Calgary a second straight loss for the first time in more than a month Tuesday night when it hosts the Flames.

The Maple Leafs (14-9-3) won for the fifth time in six home games with Saturday's 5-2 victory over Vancouver. They continued their recent scoring surge, averaging 4.4 goals during a 5-1-1 stretch after being outscored 17-5 during a three-game skid.

Peter Holland, Joffrey Lupul and David Clarkson each had a goal and an assist and Toronto chased Ryan Miller in the second period after scoring four goals on its first 14 shots. Lupul has four goals and three assists in his last four games after recording three points in his first 10.

The Maple Leafs were outshot 46-28, however, for their second-largest disparity this season.

"It's not part of a recipe to have success," said Stephane Robidas, who ranks second among Toronto defenseman with a plus-8 rating. "You can't give up over 40 shots and expect to win every night."

Toronto ranks near the bottom of the league allowing 33.3 shots on goal per game, and nine of its 14 wins have come despite being outshot. It was also an issue in 2013-14, when the Maple Leafs finished 29th in the league with an average shot differential of minus-8.0.

Bernier, who had given up 14 goals in his previous four starts, helped Toronto survive six Vancouver power plays unscathed.

"Tonight I felt really good. I was seeing pucks well," Bernier said. "I was just trying to stay patient tonight and stay on my feet as much as possible."

The Flames (17-9-2) had their season-high four-game winning streak snapped in Saturday's 3-2 home loss to San Jose. They failed to capitalize on three power plays after scoring four on 11 opportunities during the winning streak, which began with a 2-0 victory in San Jose on Nov. 26.

Calgary had 35 shots, 8.1 more than its season average, but couldn't capitalize after scoring on 13.3 percent of its shots while winning eight of its previous 10 games. The Flames were scoreless on 14 third-period shots after scoring at least once in the third period in six straight games, totaling 12 goals.

Calgary leads the league with 1.4 third-period goals per game.

"I felt that we played a real good game, but on their goals, we made some major mistakes and ... they're so talented that they were very opportunistic and they got the game from us," coach Bob Hartley said.

Hartley's squad hasn't dropped consecutive games since losses to Washington and Montreal on Oct. 25 and 28.

Bernier has won three straight starts against Calgary while posting a 1.67 GAA.

Hartley said Jonas Hiller will make his first start since he gave up at least three goals for the seventh straight outing in a loss at Anaheim on Nov. 25. Hiller has lost four career starts against Toronto with a 4.84 GAA.

He also said former Maple Leaf left wing Mason Raymond is "very likely" to return after not playing since Oct. 25 due to an upper-body injury. He has five goals and two assists in 10 games and tallied 45 points for Toronto last season.

The Maple Leafs have won three of the last four meetings, and Calgary is 4-17-1 in Toronto since Feb. 17, 1993.

Promoted Stories
Comments

More NHL