Stajan a comeback

MIKE ZEISBERGER -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 8:40 AM ET

If anyone can relate to Jeff O'Neill's goal-scoring woes, it is Matt Stajan.

Having scored just once in his past 16 games, O'Neill found himself a healthy scratch on Saturday alongside fellow veterans Travis Green and Wade Belak.

Stajan knows how easily it can seem like there is a Mack truck blocking the net every time you come in on a goalie.

It's called a slump. And, fortunately for the Maple Leafs, Stajan picked a good time to break out of his.

Having scored just once in 32 outings, Stajan, 23, had a goal and an assist in the Leafs' gut-wrenching 5-4 loss in Buffalo on Friday.

He followed that up with an assist in the Leafs' 4-1 victory over those same Sabres on Saturday, completing what probably was his best back-to-back efforts of the season.

"When you haven't scored for a while you start trying to do too much," Stajan said. "In my case, I just kept with it.

"We couldn't let (the loss Friday) finish our season. Thankfully we bounced back and now we are playing many of the teams we are chasing."

With just seven games left in the regular season, the Leafs find themselves two points back of the Islanders, Hurricanes and Canadiens, who are tied for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern conference.

The Leafs and Hurricanes meet tomorrow night at the Air Canada Centre.

"When you play a team like Washington, you are expected to win and that puts pressure on you," Stajan said. "But when you play as well as we did, for the most part, in back-to-back games against a top team like Buffalo, it helps your confidence."


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