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Stempniak to make Maple Leafs debut against Thrashers

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

Monday.

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

games.

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.

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