Maple Leafs try to pick up split against Flames (Jan 23, 2017)

BY AP • January 22, 2017

TORONTO -- The Toronto Maple Leafs will be out to salvage a split in their four-game homestand on Monday at the Air Canada Centre after two losses in a row.

They will be playing the Calgary Flames, who are seeking some redemption after losing 7-3 on Saturday night to their provincial rivals, the Edmonton Oilers, with a poor effort.

"It's embarrassing," Flames coach Glen Gulutzan said. "Our resolve to stick to it wasn't there.

"I don't talk to the guys after the game. Win or lose, I talk to them the next day. But certainly in the coaches' room, emotions are high."

The Oilers swept the four-game season series against the Flames.

The Maple Leafs' 3-2 loss to the Ottawa Senators on Saturday was more frustrating than embarrassing. The Senators tied the score on a power play with 1:11 left in the third period and won in a shootout.

Shootouts have been a problem this season for the Maple Leafs (21-14-9). The loss Saturday left them at 1-6 in games decided in shootouts.

"Maybe the other goalies are good, maybe we're not any good at it," Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock said. "We work on it every single pregame skate. It's just something we'll have to get better at obviously because we've left points - I think we're 1-6, or something, aren't we? So we'll just keep working on it like we do as a special team.

"We do the same thing with our power play and our penalty kill and our faceoffs. We'll work at it. We're not as good at faceoffs as we'd like to be either, so we have lots of work to do and we'll just keep doing it."

Maple Leafs center Nazem Kadri said, "It's almost like going to the judge. It's a bit of a tough way to lose, but nothing you can do about it."

After winning the opener of their four-game homestand 4-3 on Tuesday over the Buffalo Sabres, the Maple Leafs lost 5-2 to the New York Rangers on Thursday.

During the first period on Tuesday, Toronto's top defenseman, Morgan Rielly, left with a knee injury. He continues to be listed as day to day and is not expected to play Monday.

"The first sign of adversity we've had all year is Morgan going down with a bit of an injury," said Matt Martin, who scored Toronto's second goal on Saturday. "And we need to find a way to win games without him.

"I mean, we've been pretty fortunate all year to be healthy. ... Every team loses great players and stars. And you have to find ways to win."

The Maple Leafs did get defenseman Martin Marincin back on Saturday. He suffered a lower-body injury on Dec. 10 and missed 18 games.

A major problem for the Flames (24-22-3) recently has been falling behind early in games. They have allowed the first goal in seven consecutive games, going 2-4-1.

"That's a bunch of games in a row now where we've fallen behind and haven't been able to get any pushback, Flames captain Mark Giordano said Saturday. And in our rink, it's unacceptable.

"The stuff in the third, at the end of games, when you're down 6-1 ... those are easy. You just go all out. That's not the sign of a good team. The sign of a good team is to push back when we get down one or two and stick with our game plan, and I don't think we've been good enough at that."



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