Moore's bad reaction

STEVE BUFFERY, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:27 AM ET

Dominic Moore, who normally centres Lee Stempniak and Jason Blake, did not practise yesterday, though he did play in Toronto's 4-2 loss to the Panthers at the Air Canada Centre.

"Dominic's had an allergic reaction two nights in a row to something he ate," head coach Ron Wilson said. "So he was at an allergist, just to see what the problem is."

Moore, who has eight goals and 12 assists in 40 games, will likely play tonight in Montreal.

Tough crowd

Centre John Mitchell, who has filled in for Matt Stajan on the team's first line between Nik Antropov and Alexei Ponikarovsky, was demoted back to the fourth, or plugger, unit, at practice yesterday despite recording two assists in Tuesday's game.

The so-called second line, featuring Mikhail Grabovski, and Niklas Hagman, was without Nikolai Kulemin yesterday as the Russian was demoted to the minors. In a surprise move, tough guy Andre Deveaux, who has one assist and 57 penalty minutes in 15 games with the Leafs since being promoted on Nov. 26, practised on that line yesterday and not with the pluggers on the fourth line.

"I'm not reading much into it, Ronny changes the lines all the time," Deveaux said. "I don't think there was a lot of thought put into the line combinations."

Injury updates

Defenceman Mike Van Ryn, who has been out since Dec. 18 when he suffered his second concussion of the season in Boston, worked out with skating coach Graeme Townsend before practice at Lakeshore Lions Arena yesterday. Van Ryn has missed 22 games this season with injuries. He is hoping to start practising with the team next week. Winger Jeremy Williams, who is out with a shoulder injury, also missed practice.

Tough at home

Wilson acknowledged yesterday that there may be some validity to the theory that the Leafs' have been outscored dramatically in first periods this season (51-27) partly because visiting teams get pumped playing in Toronto.

"Most Canadian players in our league seem to have grown up looking at the Toronto Maple Leafs as the place to be, so it's kind of in their blood to show up and play hard here and we've got to get more of that in our own team," Wilson said.

"I was just disappointed that we weren't ready to play (on Tuesday against Florida) when that's all we talked about -- was being prepared to play against a team that would be motivated like most teams are when they come to Toronto."


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