Devereaux, his ankle better, eager to get back into Leafs' lineup

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Devereaux missed the last three games with a sore ankle, but he practised full tilt Monday and declared himself ready to go.

"I could stop and start as quickly as I wanted," he said. "I felt good about that."

The Leafs have won four in a row and seven of their last nine, but they're in ninth place in the Eastern Conference and a rung below a playoff berth. They play in St. Louis on Tuesday and in Nashville on Thursday.

Coach Paul Maurice said he'd make his lineup decisions after the pre-game skate Tuesday. If Devereaux comes in, the likely deletion would be Kris Newbury.

"The team is battling and you definitely want to be in there," said Devereaux.

Devereaux has plenty of NHL experience and he's fit in well after being summoned from the AHL Toronto Marlies. Newbury also has played well.

The play of goaltender Andrew Raycroft has been a main factor in the Leafs' hot streak. The NHL named him first star for last week on Monday.

"Obviously, you'd rather win it than not, but it doesn't mean a whole lot either," Raycroft said after stripping off his pads following the Leafs' morning practice at their lakeshore facility. "I don't think St. Louis is going to care (Tuesday night).

"It's nice but we've got bigger things to worry about right now."

Maurice has said he intends to ride Raycroft the rest of the way. Toronto has 29 games left.

"You just take it a game at a time," said Raycroft. "There's way too many variables to say how many games I'm going to play the rest of the season."

He knows better than most that you can't win 'em all.

"It can change pretty quick," said Raycroft.

Darcy Tucker left the practice rink still on crutches so he remains unavailable for at least another week.



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