Leafs hope Khavanov can go

MIKE ZEISBERGER -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 9:25 AM ET

An already depleted Maple Leafs defence should find out today if Alexander Khavanov will be good to go against the Ottawa Senators this weekend at Scotiabank Place.

Khavanov had problems breathing after being stepped on by a Minnesota Wild player in the first period of a 5-3 Miiesota victory Wednesday at the XCel Energy Center.

Subsequent x-rays taken on Khavanov's tender rib muscle were negative. The veteran blue liner hopes to suit up against the Sens. who have outscored the Leafs 16-2 in their two previous meetings.

"It's tough to lose another defenceman," Tomas Kaberle said. "Hopefully he'll be back the next game.

"But we need to get a win and go from there. And just make the easy plays out of the zone. We had some weird bounces (of late). That's hockey. Sometimes things just don't go your way."

The Leafs already are hurting in the absence of defenceman Bryan McCabe, who is out indefinitely with a slight groin muscle tear.

Goalie Mikael Tellqvist, meanwhile, refused to play the blame game for Toronto's 5-3 loss to the Minnesota Wild Tuesday night.

"It's always tough to lose but I'm not going to point a finger at anybody,"Tellqvist said. "I can only do what I can on the ice.

"Once I come off the ice, it's forgotten."

LOOKING AHEAD

Once the Maple Leafs are done with their back-to-back games against the Ottawa Senators this weekend, their schedule balances out.

The Leafs will have 17 home games and 17 road outings the rest of the way - all against eastern conference foes.

They must be glad to see the last of the west. Toronto went a poor 2-8 against that "other conference" this season.


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