Atlanta (7-10-2) at Toronto (7-8-5), 7:30 pm EST
TORONTO (Ticker) — The surprisingly high-octane Toronto Maple
Leafs offense is about to get a bit more dangerous.
Acquired via trade, right wing Lee Stempniak is expected to make
his debut with the Maple Leafs when they face the Atlanta
Thrashers on Tuesday.
The St. Louis Blues traded Stempniak to the Maple Leafs for
center Alexander Steen and defenseman Carlo Colaiacovo on
St. Louis made the deal because it has needed a center since
Andy McDonald broke his left leg on November 16. Steen has two
goals and two assists in 20 games this season, and has 50 goals
and 76 assists in 253 career games.
Though Steen was valuable, Stempniak will surely boost Toronto’s
offense, which is tied for fifth in the Eastern Conference with
63 goals. The 25-year-old Stempniak has three goals and 10
assists this season and 57 goals and 73 assists in 233 career
Even in a 5-4 overtime loss to the Chicago Blackhawks on
Saturday, Toronto’s offense did not disappoint like its defense
has. The Maple Leafs, who have dropped three straight (0-2-1),
have outshot their opponent in 15 of last 16 games and have at
least 35 shots in 10 of their last 15 contests.
However, they have yielded 72 goals – most in the conference and
second in the NHL behind the Dallas Stars (74).
Atlanta, which has dropped three straight as well, is struggling
on offensive and it showed in its 2-0 loss to the Columbus Blue
Jackets on Saturday.
The Thrashers are 0-6-2 when scoring two or fewer goals.