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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Friday, March 28th (All times Eastern)

Toronto Maple Leafs (36-30-8) at Philadelphia Flyers (38-27-7), 7 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - It's been over two weeks since the Toronto Maple Leafs last picked up a point, dropping the club from contender in the Atlantic Division to the outside of the current wild card race.

With their chances at a second straight playoff berth quickly disappearing, the Leafs look to snap a six-game losing streak on Friday night when they visit the Philadelphia Flyers.

The Maple Leafs held a three-point edge for second place in their division following a victory over the Los Angeles Kings on March 13, but have failed to notch a victory since. The club's current 0-6-0 drought has knocked it out of the playoff picture as Toronto is one of four clubs tied for the two wild card spots with 80 points.

However, Toronto has the fewest games remaining on its schedule with just eight, while the Washington Capitals and Detroit Red Wings have nine games remaining. Detroit is the current occupier of one of the playoff spots, along with the Columbus Blue Jackets, who have 10 games left to play and host the Pittsburgh Penguins tonight.

The Caps and Red Wings are idle.

Toronto, of course, snapped a franchise-worst seven-year playoff drought last season.

The first five games of the Maple Leafs' losing streak came without No. 1 goaltender Jonathan Bernier, sidelined with a groin injury. He returned to action on Tuesday against the NHL-leading St. Louis Blues and made 44 saves, but the Leafs lost a 5-3 decision.

Carl Gunnarsson and James van Riemsdyk scored third-period goals to pull Toronto to within one before St. Louis iced the game with an empty-net goal. Joffrey Lupul also scored.

"The whole year we've thought we were a playoff team, and we still believe that now," said Lupul. "Realistically we're still right there with these other teams."

The Maple Leafs now try to avoid losing seven in a row for the first time since an 0-6-2 slide from Oct. 28-Nov. 13, 2010 and have a chance to sweep their season set from the Flyers.

Toronto notched a 3-1 victory in Philly on Oct. 2 before recording a 4-3 overtime victory at home on March 8. The Leafs have won four of their last five versus the Flyers overall and two in a row in Philly, where they have still lost eight of their past 12.

Bernier is 2-1-0 with a 3.86 goals against average in three meetings with the Flyers, who try to avoid a third straight loss overall tonight.

Philadelphia won five straight to grab hold of second place in the Metropolitan Division, but has since lost games to the Los Angeles Kings and New York Rangers to fall into third.

A 3-1 setback to New York on Wednesday moved the Flyers three points behind the Rangers for second place, but Philadelphia does have two games in hand and New York is visiting the Calgary Flames tonight. The Flyers also are three points ahead of the Blue Jackets and Capitals for the third and final automatic playoff berth out of the Metropolitan Division.

Philadelphia failed to solve New York netminder Henrik Lundqvist on Wednesday until Jakub Voracek scored with 1:53 to play. It was Voracek's 100th career goal as he tallied for a third straight game.

Steve Mason made 26 saves as the Flyers dropped their eighth straight game at Madison Square Garden.

"I think we didn't play our game. It's like we didn't have any energy," said Flyers forward Claude Giroux, who is tied for fourth in the NHL with 75 points after notching an assist.

Mason is 2-3-1 with a 3.96 GAA in six career meetings with the Leafs.

03/28 10:46:53 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
CAR 17
CLE 13
1st
NYR 1
CAR 0
 
Final
TOR 118
NYK 108
Final
CLE 105
MEM 91
3rd
MIA 70
BOS 59
 
3rd
BRK 82
DET 74
 
3rd
SAC 66
LAL 75
 
3rd
ORL 58
PHI 56
 
3rd
WAS 61
PHO 71
 
2nd
MIN 24
IND 34
 
2nd
OKC 33
NOP 36
 
Final
UVA 76
HARV 27
Final
BGU 68
FERST 82
 
Final
ARMY 72
MAINE 69
 
Final
QUIN 60
ORST 52
Final
CLST 69
USF 65
 
Final
CARK 55
CCAR 72
 
Final
UWGB 66
ARKLR 46
 
Final
RAD 74
CORN 61
 
Final
UNT 62
CREI 58
Final
CAN 67
HC 48
 
Final
USB 67
GHND 52
 
Final
OKST 64
MD 73
Final
WINT 100
REIN 72
 
Final
UGST 68
SMISS 55
Final
NEOM 77
TXPA 72
 
Final
STLU 58
VERM 55
 
Final
UNCA 62
WCU 66
 
Final
EVAN 81
ALAST 63
 
Final
HART 82
FIU 69
 
Final
VALPO 82
GOSHEN 55
 
Final
LIP 69
PEAY 63
 
Final
DEN 46
BRY 48
 
Final
MONT 62
SD 67
 
Final
MTST 65
TENST 47
Final
SAMF 64
LAMON 50
 
Final
SCAR 78
COKR 52
 
Final
HAMP 75
NARZ 66
 
Final
SDU 71
SDCHR 61
 
Final
BC 71
USC 75
 
Final
NICST 64
TROY 65
 
Final
BRAD 47
UCI 55
 
2nd
UGA 59
SHU 35
 
2nd
ALA 35
APP 39
 
Half
KSU 23
NDST 21
 
1st
WASU 31
SJST 23
 
9:00pm Tonight
UTEP
ALCOR
 
10:00pm Tonight
SEAT
SACST
 
2nd Intermission
DET 0
COL 0
 
2nd
EDM 5
DAL 3
 
1st
BOS 1
BUF 0
 
1st
NYR 1
CAR 0
 
1st
CHI 1
TOR 0
 
9:00pm Tonight
WIN
PHI
Final
NOS 14
ATL 30
Final
HOU 25
BAL 13
Final
CAR 17
CLE 13
Final
CHI 14
DET 20
Final
TAM 3
GBP 20
Final
PIT 20
KAN 12
Final
MIA 37
MIN 35
Final
NYJ 16
NEP 17
Final
STL 27
NYG 37
 
4th
OAK 26
BUF 24
 
Final
DAL 42
IND 7
 
8:30pm Tonight
ARI
SEA