|TOR||0||0||0||(0 - 0)||2|
|LAK||0||0||0||(0 - 0)||5|
In their last games, the Toronto Maple Leafs and Los Angeles Kings showed why they are at the bottom of their respective divisions.
Each look to bounce back from decisive shutout losses when they meet on Thursday night at Staples Center.
Toronto (16-19-8), last in the Northeast Division and three points ahead of the bottom spot in the Eastern Conference, lost 5-0 at Anaheim on Wednesday to open a three-game western road trip and first in California since November 2003.
Though the Maple Leafs haven't played in Los Angeles since a 4-4 tie on Nov. 13, 2003, the Kings won 2-1 at Toronto on Dec. 6, 2005 in the teams' most recent meeting.
Los Angeles (15-27-2), last in the Pacific Division and owner of the fewest points in the NHL with 32, has lost three in a row and 11 of its last 14.
On Wednesday, the Maple Leafs were blanked for the first time this season in losing for the sixth time in seven games and fourth straight on the road.
"It's discouraging," said coach Paul Maurice, whose team has scored fewer than three goals for the ninth time in 11 games. "You've got to find a way to get these guys going."
Not even the return of top goaltender Vesa Toskala, could help the Maple Leafs, who allowed five or more goals for the third time in five games.
Toskala made 19 saves in his first game after a groin injury kept him out of action since Dec. 22. It's uncertain if he will be in net Thursday even though he is 6-2-0 versus Los Angeles. Maurice could save him for Saturday's game at San Jose, the team Toskala started his career with and spent the last five seasons.
Toronto's Andrew Raycroft, who has a 4.47 goals-against average in losing his last four starts, or Scott Clemmensen, who is 1-1-0 with a 4.33 GAA this month, could get the start.
Mats Sundin, who had three goals and two assists in his previous three games before Wednesday, has 11 goals and 27 assists in his career versus the Kings. He had two assists in Toronto's last game in Los Angeles.
Los Angeles will try to bounce back from its worst loss of the season, 7-0 to Nashville on Tuesday to fall to 1-3-0 on its six-game homestand.
It was the third time this season an opponent shut out the Kings, who have been outscored 13-4 in their last two games.
"It was a total collapse by our group. I don't have an explanation," said Kings coach Marc Crawford, whose team was has seven goals in their last three contests after a 9-2 win over Chicago on New Year's Day. "I do know that when you're as fragile as our team has shown itself to be of late."
Jason LaBarbera was pulled after allowing three goals on seven shots in his third straight loss. Backup Jean-Sebastien Aubin, who made his last start in a 3-1 win at Colorado on Dec. 29, could be in net Wednesday.
|Jan 10 '08||TOR 2 at LAK 5||A. Frolov|