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Stars Vs. Maple Leafs: Dallas Looks To Rebound From Shootout Loss

(Sports Network) - Toronto suffered a shutout loss against its biggest rival Saturday, but the Maple Leafs will try to rebound when they host the Dallas Stars tonight at Air Canada Centre.

The Maple Leafs had won two straight to end a stretch of eight straight losses, but Toronto was denied a third win in a row by the Montreal Canadiens. The Habs hosted Toronto on Saturday and Montreal's Carey Price stopped 30 shots to post his fourth shutout of the season in the 2-0 win at the Bell Centre.

Jonas Gustavsson had a strong game in net for the Leafs, but he was still dealt a loss despite making 36 saves. It marked the fourth team this season Toronto has been blanked and all of those shutouts have come since Oct. 28.

Before the game, the Canadiens and Leafs paid tribute to Pat Burns, who lost his battle with cancer Friday. Burns led the Habs to the Stanley Cup Finals in his first season as an NHL head coach in 1989 and he also coached the Maple Leafs during his career.

Toronto is 5-4-2 as the host this year and the club's last two victories have come on home ice.

The Stars are coming off a 2-0-1 homestand that ended with Saturday's shootout loss to Colorado. Kevin Porter scored the decisive goal in the fifth round of the shootout, as the Avalanche wasted a three-goal lead but recovered to beat Dallas, 4-3, at American Airlines Center.

Dallas forward Steve Ott fired a slap shot off the crossbar to open the fifth round, then Porter used a wrist shot to beat Stars goaltender Kari Lehtonen on the blocker side.

James Neal was credited with the tying goal in the third period for the Stars, who were vying for their sixth straight home win. Lehtonen stopped 23 shots.

"We were struggling there a little bit in the first," Neal said. "They got a couple quick goals on us, but we managed to stick with it. It's always nice to come back, but it's always tough when you don't finish it off."

The Stars are kicking off a brief two-game road trip tonight and will play four of their next five away from Dallas. The Stars are just 3-4-0 as the guest this season.

Dallas has had much success against the Maple Leafs in recent year, winning four straight in the series, including an overtime win against a visiting Toronto club last season. Overall, Dallas is 6-1 with a tie in the last eight encounters and is 5-1 with a deadlock in its last seven trips to Toronto.

Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.