Steen in the mood to mingle

TERRY KOSHAN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 9:42 AM ET

Alex Steen has no problem with the fact he will not be getting a break during the all-star break.

The 22-year-old Maple Leafs forward, who got over his virus enough to play last night against the Tampa Bay Lightning, will skate in the YoungStars game as part of the all-star festivities in Dallas next week.

"I never even thought about the game or anything like it," Steen said. "Hopefully I will make the Leafs proud and it will be a fun time. It will be nice to get a chance to meet some of the younger guys around the league and hang out with them for a while."

Steen, who has not been to Dallas before, will skate alongside such players as Evgeni Malkin, Phil Kessel and Thomas Vanek on the Eastern Conference side.

A month ago, Steen likely would not have been considered for the game. But before last night, in nine games since Christmas, he had seven goals and four assists.

JOB WELL DONE

Forward Kris Newbury, who along with Ben Ondrus was sent down to the Toronto Marlies yesterday, was relatively pleased with his first shot in the NHL.

The Brampton native played 10 games with Toronto, registering two goals and two assists, was plus-4 and had 12 penalty minutes. Newbury was able to provide the kind of energy the Leafs hoped he would.

"When I first got the call, I was just worried about coming up and working as hard as I could," Newbury, 24, said. "Just hit some guys and get under their skin. I did a pretty good job, but you can never be too good."

ABOUT TIME

Approximately 61/2 months after he bolted the Lightning to sign with the Leafs, defenceman Pavel Kubina played in his first game in Tampa as a Leaf. He was injured when Toronto visited in November.

Kubina played 531 games for Tampa and had his best NHL season in 2003-04, when the Lightning won the Stanley Cup.

"It's fun to be here and see my old friends and play against them," Kubina said. "I just know I have to be tough on them on the ice."


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