Shoulder siblings healthier

MIKE ZEISBERGER

, Last Updated: 8:55 AM ET

Slowly but surely the Maple Leafs appear to be getting healthier.

According to coach Paul Maurice, defenceman Andy Wozniewski and forward Alexei Ponikarovsky each have been cleared for "limited contact." Both are back practising with the team.

Wozniewski and Ponikarovsky have been out of action because of shoulder ailments. Wozniewski has been sidelined for most of the season while Ponikarovsky separated his left shoulder during practice two weeks ago at Lakeshore Lions Arena.

Forward Nik Antropov, meanwhile, was on the ice prior to yesterday's practice. He has been saddled with a nagging ankle sprain.

"He skated for the third time, about 40 minutes, so that's an improvement," Maurice said.

Forwards Ben Ondrus and Chad Kilger were not on the ice for yesterday's workout but are expected to be in the lineup tonight against the Buffalo Sabres at the Air Canada Centre.

"They're both fine, just a little sore," Maurice said.

"They didn't need to be on the ice for 25 minutes to warm up and get ready. Sometimes that just aggravates things."

STEEN, SCORING MACHINE?

The biggest media scrum was reserved for young Alex Steen yesterday.

Steen racked up his first career hat trick in the Leafs' 10-2 thumping of the Boston Bruins on Thursday. In the process he upped his season goal total from four to seven.

"We've received scoring from all four lines the past two games," Steen said. "I think that's more important than individual stats.

"Everybody's playing well, everybody's pulling their weight, and that's resulted in a couple of wins. We just need to make sure that we don't relax and keep it going."

Steen learned about Mats Sundin's on-ice tendencies years ago while playing video hockey on Playstation. Now he is Sundin's linemate.

"You can see why Mats is one of the best players in the world," Steen said.


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