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Tampa tries to keep down stumbling Leafs

(AP Photo/Jeffrey T. Barnes)

The walls of the Atlantic Division standings are closing in on the Toronto Maple Leafs, who will look to get back on track in the Sunshine State over the next two days.

Toronto (28-15-2) won six of seven games to open the season, but a recent spell of bad play has put the pressure on the Maple Leafs, who open a back-to-back set in Florida against the Lightning in Tampa Bay on Thursday. They then move farther south to face the struggling Florida Panthers on Friday.

The Maple Leafs lost a tough home game against Colorado on Monday, and it wasn't the Avalanche's star-studded line of Gabriel Landeskog, Nathan MacKinnon, Mikko Rantanen that did in the Maple Leafs.


Offense fuels clash between Jets, Preds

The Winnipeg Jets and Nashville Predators have ignited their high-octane offenses in their respective drives up the Western Conference standings as they pull away from the pack in the Central Division.

The Jets (30-14-2) have erupted for 26 goals during their 5-1-0 run to reside two points ahead of the second-place Predators, who have benefited from the torrid play of Viktor Arvidsson over their past nine contests (6-1-2).


Duchene scores 2 against Avs as Sens win

OTTAWA, Ontario (AP) Matt Duchene's first game as a father couldn't have gone much better.

He even got to celebrate among old friends.


Coyotes win 6-3, end Sharks' 7-game run

GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) Arizona has lost its No. 1 goalie for the season and several regulars to significant injuries. But the Coyotes have not lost their fight.

Christian Fischer had a goal and an assist, Richard Panik scored Arizona's 12th short-handed goal of the season and the Coyotes snapped San Jose's seven-game winning streak Wednesday night with a 6-3 victory over the Sharks.


Couturier nets 3, Flyers rally by Bruins

PHILADELPHIA (AP) The doors to the Philadelphia Flyers locker room opened and Lionel Ritchie's "All Night Long" was cranked at full volume. Raise the roof and have some fun? Sure, the Flyers could afford to cut loose for a change and enjoy a rare string of success in an otherwise waste of a season.

Heck, even Gritty shook his beastly belly and danced with NASCAR champion Martin Truex Jr.


Eichel's OT goal lifts Sabres by Flames

CALGARY, Alberta (AP) Jack Eichel battled through some misfortune before scoring the overtime winner for the Buffalo Sabres in a 4-3 victory over the Calgary Flames on Wednesday.

Seconds after putting a backhand off the post, Buffalo's captain rifled a low shot past Dave Rittich, on the Calgary goaltender's glove side 70 seconds into OT.


Chiasson puts Oilers over Canucks in SO

VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) Ken Hitchcock wants Oilers fans to brace for a wild ride.

Edmonton's coach thinks games will get tighter throughout the second half of the season and look more like his team's 3-2 victory over the Vancouver Canucks in a shootout Wednesday night.


Ducks acquire D Del Zotto from Canucks

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) The Anaheim Ducks have acquired defenseman Michael Del Zotto from the Vancouver Canucks for defenseman Luke Schenn and a 2020 seventh-round draft pick.

The teams announced the trade Wednesday night. The 28-year-old Del Zotto had a goal and three assists with the Canucks this season and has 54 goals and 161 assists over 10 NHL seasons.


Habs' Byron banned 3 games for charging

NEW YORK (AP) Montreal Canadiens forward Paul Byron was suspended for three games without pay by the NHL on Wednesday for charging Florida Panthers defenseman MacKenzie Weegar.

Byron was assessed a minor penalty for charging in the second period of Montreal's 5-1 home victory Tuesday night. The suspension will cost Byron $18,817.


Role has Sabres' Beaulieu open to trade

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) Sabres defenseman Nathan Beaulieu is concerned with his lack of playing time and would prefer being traded if his role doesn't change in Buffalo, the player's agent told The Associated Press on Wednesday.

Kent Hughes said that while he didn't demand the Sabres trade his client, he did request they consider it if Beaulieu isn't considered part of their future plans with his contract set to expire.

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