Steen moved to top line

TERRY KOSHAN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 9:04 AM ET

Alexander Steen promised he would not get in the way of Maple Leafs captain Mats Sundin and Jeff O'Neill tonight.

Steen, fourth in NHL rookie scoring entering last night, will skate on a line with the Leafs' hottest forward against the Washington Capitals.

"It's a big opportunity for me to play with those two, because they have been on fire and I am just going to try to help them out even more," Steen said yesterday.

"I want to make the best of a situation like this."

Steen, who has 11 points (six goals and five assists) in 15 games and is plus-4, is glad the Leafs will get another crack at the Caps tonight so soon after losing to them in Washington on Sunday.

"I think it's a good thing, to get some revenge on them," Steen said. "We have to bring a little more hard work and I think we will pull it off."

RELIEF FOR WELLWOOD

The Leafs' decision to trade Nathan Perrott to the Dallas Stars on Sunday for a conditional draft pick virtually ensures Kyle Wellwood won't be sent to the minors once his injured teammates return to the lineup.

Wellwood was asked whether that will provide him with a confidence boost.

"Perhaps," Wellwood said. "I don't know if it was for me exactly, but it could have been and I definitely feel more secure with the roster spot."

Wellwood was on the wing on a line with Jason Allison at centre and Alexei Ponikarovsky for practice yesterday, but coach Pat Quinn later said that Wellwood would play in the middle on the line tonight.

ANTROPOV RETURNS

Big Nik Antropov has been through some hell since he most recently played but he is ready to play again.

Antropov has not played since Oct. 15, when he suffered a right knee injury in a game against the Montreal Canadiens. During his recovery, his father Alexander passed away and Antropov went home to Kazakhstan for a week.

"I'm just excited to get back and play with anybody right now," Antropov said. "My main concern (physically) was conditioning and now I'm fine."


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