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Preds eye first 3-game win streak vs. Maple Leafs

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Nashville Predators will try for their first three- game winning streak of the season on Thursday, but they'll have to do it against a Toronto team that shut them out earlier this season.

The Predators will aim for a bit of revenge when they visit the Maple Leafs for a battle at Air Canada Centre. Nashville hosted Toronto back on Oct. 10 and was handed a 4-0 setback. Jonathan Bernier stopped 36 shots to notch the shutout for the Leafs, while Phil Kessel and James van Riemsdyk each had a goal to lead the offense.

Pekka Rinne, who is currently sidelined following hip surgery, surrendered all four goals in the October meeting, as Nashville fell for the third time in the last four meetings against Toronto.

The Preds are entering Thursday's rematch having won their last two outings. Nashville halted a four-game slide with Saturday's shocking 7-2 rout over visiting Chicago and then hit the road to pick up Tuesday's 2-0 victory in Detroit. Gabriel Bourque and Shea Weber each had a goal for the Predators in the win over the Red Wings.

Rookie goaltender Marek Mazanec earned the victory in each of Nashville's last two games, stopping 39-of-41 shots against the Blackhawks before making 27 stops in his first career shutout on Tuesday.

Mazanec expects to again get the start over Carter Hutton on Thursday. Neither goaltender has ever faced the Maple Leafs.

Thursday's game in Toronto also ends a road-heavy part of the schedule for the Preds. Nashville is playing its ninth road tilt in 10 games tonight, but will play six of its next seven in Music City.

The Predators are 5-7-1 on the road this season compared to a 5-2-1 mark at home.

The Maple Leafs, meanwhile, are 2-0 at the start of a five-game homestand, giving Toronto an impressive 8-2-0 record at the ACC this season.

After recording a 4-2 win over Buffalo on Saturday, the Maple Leafs downed the New York Islanders by a 5-2 score on Tuesday. Kessel scored twice and Trevor Smith added a goal and two assists to help the Leafs down the Isles.

Mason Raymond and David Clarkson notched a goal apiece, while Joffrey Lupul registered three assists for the Leafs, who had lost four of five prior to recording consecutive wins.

Clarkson recorded his first goal with the Leafs after signing a seven-year, $36.75 million contract with the club over the summer.

"It does feel good, I guess, to get some people off my back a little bit," Clarkson joked.

Bernier backstopped Tuesday's victory with 35 saves. With an 8-1-0 record and a 1.67 goals against average in nine career games against Nashville, Bernier could get the call over James Reimer again on Thursday. Reimer has never faced the Preds.

The Leafs will get Nazem Kadri back tonight, as the forward has completed a three-game suspension for hitting Niklas Backstrom in the head during a collision on Nov. 13.

Kadri has five goals and nine assists in 14 games this season and has two assists in two career outings against Nashville.

11/21 11:12:03 ET

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Schedule

Friday, April 18Full Scoreboard
Montreal «4Final | Box
Tampa Bay1Rink Replay
Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, Game Two. Montreal leads series, 2-0.
Detroit «1Final | Box
Boston0Rink Replay
Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, Game One. Detroit leads series, 1-0.
Dallas2Final | Box
Anaheim «3Rink Replay
Western Conference Quarterfinals, Game Two. Anaheim leads series, 2-0.
Full Scoreboard

Standings

2013 - 2014 NHL Eastern Conference Standings
 
Atlantic Division W L OTL Pts GF GA Home Away Div
p-Boston 54 19 9 117 261 177 31-7-3 23-12-6 18-9-3
x-Tampa Bay 46 27 9 101 240 215 25-10-6 21-17-3 19-8-3
x-Montreal 46 28 8 100 215 204 23-13-5 23-15-3 18-8-4
x-Detroit 39 28 15 93 222 230 18-13-10 21-15-5 17-8-5
Ottawa 37 31 14 88 236 265 18-17-6 19-14-8 14-9-7
Toronto 38 36 8 84 231 256 24-16-1 14-20-7 14-13-3
Florida 29 45 8 66 196 268 16-20-5 13-25-3 13-16-1
Buffalo 21 51 10 52 157 248 13-21-7 8-30-3 7-18-5
 
Metropolitan Division W L OTL Pts GF GA Home Away Div
y-Pittsburgh 51 24 7 109 249 207 28-9-4 23-15-3 20-8-2
x-NY Rangers 45 31 6 96 218 193 20-17-4 25-14-2 16-11-3
x-Philadelphia 42 30 10 94 236 235 24-14-3 18-16-7 15-11-4
x-Columbus 43 32 7 93 231 216 22-15-4 21-17-3 16-13-1
Washington 38 30 14 90 235 240 21-13-7 17-17-7 12-15-3
New Jersey 35 29 18 88 197 208 21-11-9 14-18-9 16-9-5
Carolina 36 35 11 83 207 230 18-17-6 18-18-5 15-13-2
NY Islanders 34 37 11 79 225 267 13-19-9 21-18-2 10-16-4
 
x= clinched playoff berth
y= clinched division title
z= clinched overall points title
2013 - 2014 NHL Western Conference Standings
 
Central Division W L OTL Pts GF GA Home Away Div
y-Colorado 52 22 8 112 250 220 26-11-4 26-11-4 19-6-3
x-St. Louis 52 23 7 111 248 191 28-9-4 24-14-3 21-6-2
x-Chicago 46 21 15 107 267 220 27-7-7 19-14-8 13-13-3
x-Minnesota 43 27 12 98 207 206 26-10-5 17-17-7 14-12-3
x-Dallas 40 31 11 91 235 228 23-11-7 17-20-4 13-11-5
Nashville 38 32 12 88 216 242 19-17-5 19-15-7 12-13-4
Winnipeg 37 35 10 84 227 237 18-17-6 19-18-4 9-15-5
 
Pacific Division W L OTL Pts GF GA Home Away Div
z-Anaheim 54 20 8 116 266 209 29-8-4 25-12-4 22-4-3
x-San Jose 51 22 9 111 249 200 29-7-5 22-15-4 18-7-3
x-Los Angeles 46 28 8 100 206 174 23-14-4 23-14-4 16-10-3
Phoenix 37 30 15 89 216 231 22-14-5 15-16-10 14-9-6
Vancouver 36 35 11 83 196 223 20-15-6 16-20-5 12-13-4
Calgary 35 40 7 77 209 241 19-19-3 16-21-4 11-15-3
Edmonton 29 44 9 67 203 270 16-22-3 13-22-6 8-17-4
 
x= clinched playoff berth
y= clinched division title
z= clinched overall points title
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Scoreboard
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NYY 5
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SEA 4
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HOU 3
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7:05pm Tonight
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