Havlat wants to go Wild

LANCE HORNBY, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 2:03 PM ET

The Maple Leafs hope Martin Havlat stays dormant for at least one more game.

The Minnesota Wild sniper, who was tough on the Leafs as a member of the Ottawa Senators and Chicago Blackhawks and has eight points in 11 career games at the Air Canada Centre, has just one goal in 14 games as the Wild prepare to meet the Leafs tonight.

“I thought his last game was one of his best," an optimistic coach Todd Richards said after practice. "It's been a hard (adjustment) for him, a new city, a new team and a new coach. And he has been compared to (departed Wild top gun) Marian Gaborik."

The Leafs will be trying to extend their points streak to eight game as well as win three straight for the first time since late last February. It promises to be a top-notch goaltending duel with Jonas Gustvasson against fellow Scandinavian Niklas Backstrom of the Wild. Leaf centre John Mitchell will try for a goal in his third consecutive game.

Across the hall, Wild winger Derek Boogaard will be trying to score his first in 174 games, an NHL high, though Richards is happy the much feared enforcer is holding his own defensively.

"Before one of his first games of the year, I didn't trust him," the coach recalled. "Now he has that trust. Everybody knows the other element he brings to our team."

Boogaard, who has only needed to rack up 11 penalty minutes this year after being well over 200 in his minor-league days, was once a winger for Leaf centre Rickard Wallin when both were playing for the Wild's AHL affiliate in Houston.

Mike Komisarek will be back on the Leafs' defence after sitting out the last half of Saturday's game with a lower body injury, but Petr Sykora and Pierre-Marc Bouchard have head injuries and are scratched from the Wild.

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TONIGHT'S LINEUPS

TORONTO


Goal

Jonas Gustavsson
Vesa Toskala


Defence

Francois Beauchemin - Ian White

Tomas Kaberle - Mike Komisarek

Jeff Finger - Luke Schenn


Forwards

Jason Blake - John Mitchell - Phil Kessel

Alexei Ponikarovsky - Mikhail Grabovski - Nikolai Kulemin

Niklas Hagman - Rickard Wallin - Lee Stempniak

Wayne Primeau - Matt Stajan - Colton Orr

MINNESOTA


Goal

Niklas Backstrom
Josh Harding


Defence

Greg Zanon - Marek Zidlicky

Nick Schultz - Brent Burns

John Scott - Shane Hnidy


Forwards

Andrew Brunette - Mikko Koivu - Antti Miettinen

Derek Boogaard - Benoit Pouliot - Owen Nolan

Chuck Kobasew - Kyle Brodziak - Cal Clutterbuck

James Sheppard - Eric Belanger - Martin Havlat


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