Another one bites the dust

TERRY KOSHAN, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:50 AM ET

PHILADELPHIA -- The Maple Leafs have been able to succeed with some of their better forwards out of the lineup.

So in theory, it should be a little easier to get by without defenceman Pavel Kubina, who has not done much to justify the four-year, $20-million US contract he signed last summer.

Kubina suffered a broken finger Thursday night on Long Island in a game against the New York Islanders. After he returned to Toronto yesterday to have the digit examined, the club said he would be out of the lineup for two weeks.

"We've been dealing with injuries throughout the year and other guys have demonstrated they can jump in and be effective," general manager John Ferguson said.

Up next to fill a hole is defenceman Andy Wozniewski, who is slated to play in his first game for the Leafs tonight at the Wachovia Center against the Philadelphia Flyers since suffering a right shoulder injury in the third game of the season, on Oct. 7.

"I feel confident and I have no problems stepping in and playing," Wozniewski said after the Leafs practised in the old Spectrum.

Wozniewski, who recently skated in five games for the Toronto Marlies of the American Hockey League on a conditioning stint, might not be the only relatively new face in the lineup this evening. The Leafs recalled forward Jeremy Williams, who has five goals and eight assists in 17 games for the Marlies. In his NHL debut last April, in the Leafs' final game of the 2005-06 season, Williams scored a goal.

The Leafs could use some scoring punch and coach Paul Maurice did not have any confidence in Wade Belak or Brendan Bell two nights ago, as each had two shifts against the Islanders and none after the first period. Their linemate at the beginning of the game, Travis Green, played more than 11 minutes.

Boyd Devereaux (wrist) will not play tonight, but might in Montreal agains t the Canadiens on Monday night. Kyle Wellwood had his abdomen checked out this week (possibly in California) and is on schedule to return in a month. Darcy Tucker (foot) is expected to skate today.

Another element Maurice would like to see tonight is a carryover of sorts from the shootout loss to the Islanders. Though the steam coming out of the players' ears had dissipated a bit regarding a disallowed goal by Mats Sundin that would have given the Leafs a 3-1 lead in New York early in the third period, some anger remained.


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