Playoff watch: Chicago takes streak to Toronto
Posted on: March 5, 2011 2:22 pm
Edited on: March 5, 2011 3:08 pm
Chicago Blackhawks. (36-23-6) at Toronto Maple Leafs (29-27-9)
Air Canada Centre, 7 pm ET
SEASON SERIES: First (and only) meeting
IMPLICATIONS: The Leafs can move within two points of idle Carolina for the eighth and final playoff spot in the East. Chicago, which was well out of the playoff picture six weeks ago, could move within five points of the Central Division lead with a victory and a Detroit Red Wings loss.
BREAKDOWN: Both Original Six franchises are surging. The Blackhawks enter on a seven-game win streak, while the Leafs are unbeaten in regulation over the last nine games. The Blackhawks have won each of the last five contests against the Leafs.
PLAYER Vs. PLAYER: Chicago's Marian Hossa vs. Toronto's Phil Kessel. Depending on how Leafs coach Ron Wilson matches lines with the last change, these right wingers could see each other a bit tonight. Kessel (above) has eight points over the last four games. Hossa, who has 36 points (14 goals and 22 assists) career against the Leafs, had his five-game goal streak snapped in Friday's victory over Carolina, but he still managed two assists. The 'Hawks are 20-4-2 this season when Hossa gets at least one point.
KEY STAT: 9. That's how many consecutive one-goal games the Maple Leafs have played in, going 6-0-3 during this stretch.