The Toronto Maple Leafs will try to avoid their longest losing streak of the season when they host the struggling Minnesota Wild tonight at Air Canada Centre.
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The Maple Leafs had won a season-high four straight games before losing regulation decision against Buffalo, the Rangers and Ottawa. It is Toronto's fourth three-game slide of the year, but the first one with all three losses coming in regulation.
Toronto, which is three points behind Florida and Pittsburgh for the final two playoff spots in the Eastern Conference, hasn't dropped four in a row since an 0-3-1 stretch from Nov. 26-Dec. 2 of last season.
The Wild have also lost three straight (0-2-1) and are just 2-10-4 in their last 16 trips to the ice. Minnesota is currently ninth in the Western Conference with 51 points after leading the NHL with 43 points on Dec. 10.
Toronto scored the first two goals in Tuesday's game against visiting Ottawa, but the Sens scored three unanswered goals and Craig Anderson made 37 saves to lift the visitors to a 3-2 decision.
Joffrey Lupul and Matthew Lombardi scored for the Maple Leafs, while James Reimer made 18 saves in his first start since December 31.
"We let them hang around," Lombardi said. "They took advantage of their opportunities and stuck with it. We got away from our game a few times and it bit us in the end."
Toronto has lost the first two tests on a five-game homestand and is 12-7-4 as the host this season.
The team will look to Jonas Gustavsson in goal this evening, who is 0-2 with a 3.03 goals-against average and .891 save percentage in his last two outings - a lose to the New York Rangers and Buffalo Sabres.
Minnesota, meanwhile, played Tuesday night in Philadelphia and was dealt a 5-1 setback by the Flyers, who went 2-for-6 on the power play and outshot the Wild, 34-26....
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