Nashville at Toronto

Venue: Air Canada Centre
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The Nashville Predators and the Toronto Maple Leafs got off to fast starts this season. They've been trying to recapture that level of play ever since.

On Tuesday night, Toronto looks to end a four-game home losing streak against a Nashville club that's dropped four of five on the road.

The Maple Leafs (5-8-3) have lost eight straight and their 4-0 start is a distant memory. Their most recent loss, 5-3 to Vancouver on Saturday, came after they blew a 2-0 first-period lead.

Mason Raymond scored the winner 13:36 into the third period when it appeared Jean-Sebastien Giguere had a good opportunity to make the save.

Despite the defeat, coach Ron Wilson saw improvement from his struggling team.

"(That's) the best third period we've played in two or three weeks," Wilson said. "(Giguere) was great all night, but we needed a stop there. He would be the first to say he had to have that shot."

Giguere has gone 1-5-2 in his last seven starts and gave up four goals for the second consecutive game.

Phil Kessel scored to end a seven-game point drought, while Mikhail Grabovski's second-period goal gave him a point in five of his last six.

The Maple Leafs (5-8-3) have the second-lowest point total in the NHL.

"We just have to go back to basics," forward Kris Versteeg said. "In the first four games, a lot of our goals came off simple plays, puck possession and not throwing the puck away. I think we're coming on to how we want to play now."

The Predators' confidence may be building as well. They ended a four-game road skid and five-game overall losing streak with a 3-2 shootout victory over St. Louis on Thursday. Nashville won in a shootout again Saturday, beating Chicago 4-3.

The Nashville goals against Chicago came from defensemen, as Shane O'Brien, Shea Weber and Cody Franson scored.

"(The defensemen) try and chip in whenever we can, but it is just a good job by our forwards," Franson said. "We don't get the puck without them. It is a whole team thing."

The Predators (7-5-3) trailed in the third period of both games.

"It's very hard in this league when you are down," said coach Barry Trotz, whose team opened the season 3-0. "When you are chasing the game, trying to get it tied up, it is pretty taxing on your team mentally. But you talk about defining a backbone and finding ways to win, that's what those moments are."

Pekka Rinne ended his four-game losing streak with strong performances in each shootout, but he struggled in his last start against Toronto. The Maple Leafs scored three goals on eight shots in the first period, forcing Rinne from the game in a 4-3 road victory Jan. 18.

Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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Game Odds
AwayLineHomeLine
Nashville 100 Toronto -120
Standings
Team Standings W L OT Pts L 10
Nashville6th Central 383212887-1-2
Toronto6th Atlantic 38368842-8-0

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Injuries
Nashville
PlayerInjury
M FisherAchilles
 
Toronto
PlayerInjury
J LupulKnee
 
Scoring Leaders
Nashville
Skaters
PlayerGAPTS+/-PIM
O'Reilly391230
Sullivan549314
Franson44868
Hornqvist538-28
Dumont257512
Weber257-816
Goc24610
Legwand246-48
Tootoo156123
Wilson24630
 
Toronto
Skaters
PlayerGAPTS+/-PIM
MacArthur7613610
Grabovski381178
Kessel8210-26
Kulemin45904
Kaberle07720
Versteeg257-613
Beauchemin14534
Bozak235-44
Komisarek145314
Phaneuf044-617
 
 
 
Series Game Log
DateLocationResults
Oct 8Toronto 
Feb 14 @ Montreal 
Feb 28 @ Montreal 
Apr 11Toronto 
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