The dynamic duo

STEVE BUFFERY

, Last Updated: 8:53 AM ET

The Leafs will have their hands full this evening against the Penguins. Pittsburgh forwards Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby are 1-2 in NHL scoring with 53 and 46 points respectively, although Crosby hasn't scored in the past eight games. Malkin had two goals and two assists in Pittsburgh's 6-3 win on Thursday night in Atlanta. Malkin is also tied for first in the NHL in plus/minus, at 20. In the Atlanta game, goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury, returned from a groin injury, stopping 28 of 31 shots.

The Penguins have been decimated with injuries this season, but are starting to get most of their regulars back.

"They haven't had their No. 1 goalie for a while, and they've hung in there," said Leafs coach Ron Wilson. "Once Fleury gets a few games under his belt, that team's going to take off.

"But I don't think we fear any team," he added. "You just have to be aware that there are important people in the ice and get the job done."

Crosby agreed with Wilson's sentiment about the Pens taking off.

"I don't think we've hit our stride yet," Crosby said, when asked about his 17-10-4 squad. "We've had a lot of injuries and I think we've been trying to stay consistent. It hasn't been easy, we've had a lot of adversity here in the last little while but we've done a pretty good job of hanging in there. But I think we have more to bring, for sure."

MIXING IT UP

Wilson will mix up his lines tonight against the Penguins.

Winger Niklas Hagman, who returns to the lineup after missing four games with a concussion, will be put on a line with centre Mikhail Grabovski, and either Jeremy Williams or Lee Stempniak. Williams skated with Hagman and Grabovski at practice yesterday despite playing very well with Jason Blake and Dominic Moore in Toronto's 8-5 loss in Boston. Wilson said that was Toronto's best line "by a country mile."

"(Blake) was playing the best I've seen him play in a long time and Dominic Moore is probably the best he's ever played in his career," Wilson said. "And Williams can profit from that. They only scored one goal, but every time they were on the ice something happened."

Rookie winger Nikolai Kulemin will be bumped off the first line, beside Matt Stajan and Nik Antropov, and replaced by Alexei Ponikarovsky tonight. Kulemin practised with the fourth-line muckers yesterday.


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