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Penguins-Maple Leafs Preview

Saturday, 03.09.2013 / 11:32 AM

Associated Press

With Chris Kunitz enjoying a hot streak, the Pittsburgh Penguins' highly ranked offense has soared to another level lately.

The red-hot Penguins look to keep things rolling and win their fourth straight game on Saturday night when they visit the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Kunitz extended his point streak to a career-high seven games with three points, including the go-ahead goal in the third period of a 5-4 victory at Philadelphia on Thursday. The Penguins' winger finished with two goals and an assist, giving him seven and three, respectively, while scoring in five straight contests.

"The puck seems to be going in the net," Kunitz told the team's official website. "Hopefully, it keeps going."

Kunitz has points in 15 of his last 17 contests and ranks among the league leaders in both points (31) and goals (14). However, he hasn't produced a point in any of his last four games against the Maple Leafs - including a 5-2 home defeat on Jan. 23.

Sidney Crosby, who leads the league with 39 points, has 10 goals during a seven-game scoring streak in this series following his tally in the first meeting.

While they've been one of the NHL's highest-scoring clubs all season, the Penguins (16-8-0) have been even more efficient recently. Pittsburgh has totaled 16 goals during a three-game winning streak that began with a season-best seven-goal outburst at Montreal last Saturday.

Now the Penguins are likely to get another shot at Toronto goalie James Reimer, who has won his last six starts with a 2.40 goals-against average. Reimer also has a 3-0-1 record with a 2.20 GAA in four career starts in this series - including a 1-0 victory in the previous meeting in Toronto on Feb. 1, 2012.

Pittsburgh, though, may be catching the Maple Leafs (15-10-0) at an opportune time. Toronto had a three-game winning streak snapped in a 4-2 loss at Boston on Thursday and has given up four goals or more in four of its last five games.

Nazem Kadri, however, has kept the Leafs' offense clicking at a high level. He enters this contest with six goals over a four-game scoring streak.

"It's about good habits," said Clarke MacArthur, who assisted on Kadri's goal against the Bruins. "We can take a lot of good things out of the game. Obviously those two points would have been huge for us, but we have to take the good positive things we did and take that into Pittsburgh."

James van Riemsdyk led the way with two goals and an assist in the first meeting, while Nikolai Kulemin added three assists.

The Maple Leafs enter this contest having scored nine times in their last two home games. They've won five of six in Toronto after losing four of five there to open the season.

Even though he was pulled after allowing four first-period goals on Thursday, Pittsburgh's Marc-Andre Fleury is expected to be back between the pipes on Saturday.

Fleury is 11-5-0 with a 2.64 GAA on the season, but he's 1-1-0 with a 4.78 GAA in his last three starts. He also has a 4.09 GAA in his last four starts in this series after allowing five goals on 24 shots in January's loss.

Toronto seeks its fourth straight home victory against the Penguins.

2012-2013 season series
DateScoreW. Goal
Mar 14 '13PIT 3 at TOR 1P. Dupuis
Mar 09 '13PIT 5 at TOR 4 - SOJ. Neal
Jan 23 '13TOR 5 at PIT 2J. van Riemsdyk
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
S. Crosby25122840+131020
C. Kunitz25141731+181263
J. Neal2516925-12485
E. Malkin2151924-13031
K. Letang2232124+7800
P. Martin2351217+2811
P. Dupuis259615+91811
M. Cooke255712+02200
B. Sutter256511+6422
M. Niskanen17347-3401
S. Despres18246+81600
B. Orpik25066+51000
T. Kennedy25325+01000
B. Bennett10145+5211
C. Adams25213-51500
D. Engelland25033+53400
D. Jeffrey12202-1200
R. Bortuzzo11112+32000
J. Vitale20022-81100
T. Glass25000-93600
Z. Boychuk8000-2200
E. Tangradi5000+2000
M. Eaton3000+0000
D. Reese3000+0000
B. Lovejoy3000-2000
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
M. Fleury1812-5-0454582.71.902
T. Vokoun105-3-0282543.32.890
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
N. Kadri26111425+141541
P. Kessel2671623-31032
J. van Riemsdyk2614620-21642
C. Franson2321416+11610
C. MacArthur237815+10421
D. Phaneuf2641115-103221
T. Bozak266814-5421
N. Kulemin2621113-5800
M. Frattin117411+7203
M. Grabovski266511-62401
J. McClement265510+0600
C. Gunnarsson18189+2800
M. Kostka26077-52100
J. Liles15156+2200
L. Komarov26145-11201
M. Fraser23055+173600
F. McLaren19213-13201
C. Orr23123+16200
K. Holzer19202-82101
D. Steckel13011-2000
M. Brown12011+17000
M. Komisarek4000+2200
J. Lupul3000+0000
J. Gardiner2000-1000
R. Hamilton1000+0000
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
J. Reimer149-3-1344222.66.919
B. Scrivens146-7-0323992.46.920
J. Rynnas10-0-0060.001.000