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Leafs hope to build on ‘pretty close to a must-win’ over ‘Hawks

Dec 16, 2013, 2:41 PM EDT

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Joffrey Lupul AP

The Toronto Maple Leafs played one of their best games of the season Wednesday versus the visiting Kings. But they lost, 3-1, with unheralded goalie Martin Jones stealing the show for L.A.

The next day, the Leafs were “totally brain-dead” against the Blues and lost again, this time deservedly so, by a score of 6-3.

But finally, on Saturday versus the defending champion Blackhawks, they both played well and won.

Toronto’s 7-3 victory snapped a three-game losing streak for the Leafs, who now face the depleted Penguins tonight in Pittsburgh.

“We really felt we needed a win,” forward Joffrey Lupul said after the Chicago game. “It’s a hard stretch for us, a lot of games in a short stretch of time, so Saturday night at home with a day of rest, we came into the game feeling like it was pretty close to a must-win for us. Things were kind of starting to snowball the other way.”

Toronto’s busy stretch doesn’t end tonight either. The Leafs also play tomorrow at home versus Florida. And the Panthers, in case you hadn’t noticed, have won five of their last six.

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