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Surging Leafs visit Panthers

(SportsNetwork.com) - The red-hot Toronto Maple Leafs will shoot for a fourth straight victory on Tuesday when they visit the sliding Florida Panthers at BB&T Center.

In addition to winning their last three outings, Toronto is 9-1-1 over its past 11 games and the surge has pushed the Leafs into third place in the Atlantic Division. Randy Carlyle's club is currently two points in front of Montreal, which is occupying the seventh of eight playoff seed in the Eastern Conference.

Toronto wrapped up a perfect 3-0 homestand on Saturday with a 6-3 win over the Ottawa Senators. That came two days after the Leafs downed a visiting Panthers club by the same score.

The Maple Leafs and Panthers have split a pair of meetings in Toronto this season, but the final two scheduled encounters between the clubs in 2013-14 will be staged in Sunrise, Fla. Toronto has won four of the past five meetings in the series and has claimed two straight in South Florida.

Phil Kessel capped his fifth career hat trick with the game-winner at 14:02 of the third period to lift the Maple Leafs to their win over the Senators on Saturday. Kessel has nine goals over his last nine games and is second in the NHL with 30 markers this season. It marks the fifth time Kessel has reached the 30-goal mark in eight NHL campaigns.

"It was a big win for us obviously and the fans were good and we found a way," said Kessel. "I've had chances in a couple games before and obviously they went in tonight."

Tyler Bozak and Nazem Kadri each had a goal and an assist while Joffrey Lupul also scored for the Maple Leafs.

Kadri had three assists in last week's win over Florida and he takes a five- game point streak into tonight's rematch. The centerman has recorded three goals and six assists during his current tear.

Jonathan Bernier. who stopped 35-of-38 shots in Thursday's win against the Panthers, gave up three goals on 26 shots to pick up the victory on Saturday.

Toronto is kicking off a two-game road trip tonight and also will visit Tampa Bay on Thursday. The Maple Leafs will then play their final tilt before the NHL's Olympic break on Saturday against the visiting Vancouver Canucks.

The Leafs are just 10-11-5 as the visiting team this season compared to a 20-10-1 mark in Toronto.

The Panthers are 0-3-0 over their last three outings and the club is currently 14th out of 15 teams in the Eastern Conference.

Florida has been outscored by a combined 16-6 margin during its current slide and the Panthers dropped a 4-1 decision in Columbus on Saturday. The Blue Jackets came up with all the offense they would need for the win in the last five minutes of the first period, as Ryan Johansen and Boone Jenner scored 2:29 apart to hand Columbus a 2-0 lead.

"I thought our chances were better. We didn't capitalize on our chances. They capitalized on theirs," said Florida head coach Peter Horachek. "Playing from behind, playing catch-up hockey is difficult."

Brad Boyes scored Florida's lone goal with Brian Campbell and Scottie Upshall picking up the helpers. Tim Thomas allowed all four goals on 30 shots.

After going 1-3-0 on a recent four-game swing, the Panthers will play their next two games at home before finishing their pre-Olympic break schedule with Friday's game at Carolina.

The Panthers are 10-11-4 on home ice this season.

02/04 10:57:28 ET

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Schedule

Sunday, April 20Full Scoreboard
Philadelphia «4Final | Box
NY Rangers2Rink Replay
Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, Game Two. Series tied, 1-1.
Detroit1Final | Box
Boston «4Rink Replay
Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, Game Two. Series tied, 1-1.
Tampa Bay2Final | Box
Montreal «3Rink Replay
Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, Game Three. Montreal leads series, 3-0.
Los Angeles2Final | Box
San Jose «7Rink Replay
Western Conference Quarterfinals, Game Two. San Jose 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
Local
Final
NOR 6
DUR 3
 
Final
MIA 99
CHA 88
12:05pm Today
NOR
DUR
 
Final
CLE 6
TOR 4
Final
DET 2
ANA 1
Final
NYM 4
ATL 3
Final
MIA 3
SEA 2
Final
PIT 2
MIL 3
Final
WAS 3
STL 2
Final
TAM 1
NYY 5
Final
KAN 3
MIN 8
Final
CHC 2
CIN 8
Final
TEX 2
CWS 16
Final
OAK 4
HOU 1
Final
LOS 4
ARI 1
Final
COL 9
PHI 10
Final
SDP 3
SFG 4
Final
BOS 6
BAL 5
11:05am Today
BOS
BAL
 
7:05pm Tonight
PIT
CIN
 
7:05pm Tonight
CLE
KAN
 
7:05pm Tonight
WAS
ANA
 
7:08pm Tonight
DET
CWS
 
7:10pm Tonight
ATL
MIA
 
7:10pm Tonight
NYM
STL
 
8:05pm Tonight
CHC
ARI
 
8:10pm Tonight
MIL
SDP
 
8:40pm Tonight
COL
SFG
 
10:05pm Tonight
OAK
TEX
 
10:10pm Tonight
SEA
HOU
 
10:10pm Tonight
LOS
PHI
 
Final
SAN 90
DAL 85
Final
MIA 99
CHA 88
Final
CHI 93
WAS 102
Final
HOU 120
POR 122
8:00pm Tonight
OKC
MEM
10:30pm Tonight
LAC
GSW
Final
NYR 2
PHI 4
Final
BOS 4
DET 1
Final
MON 3
TAM 2
Final
SJS 7
LOS 2
7:00pm Tonight
MIN
COL
7:00pm Tonight
CLB
PIT
8:30pm Tonight
CHI
STL
9:30pm Tonight
DAL
ANA
Final
NOR 6
DUR 3
 
12:05pm Today
NOR
DUR