Reimer to start as Leafs to take on surging Flyers Tuesday

Maple Leafs defenceman Morgan Rielly discusses his crazy helmet incident from Satuday's loss to the Bruins, saying it sucked because "Corrado has the smallest head in Eastern Canada."

TORONTO — The Toronto Maple Leafs hope better performances at both ends of the rink will put the brakes on a lengthy losing streak.

Toronto will start James Reimer in goal Tuesday when they visit the surging Philadelphia Flyers. Reimer hasn’t won since Nov. 20, while the Leafs are on a five game skid.

It’s their longest winless streak since they went six straight games without a victory at the end of their horrendous October.

“Since I’ve come back from the injury, I feel like I’ve played a couple good games, just, as a team, we haven’t been able to pick up a W,” said Reimer, who is winless in his last seven appearances. “Like anything, it’s just a couple details that I think we need to clean up.”

Complicating matters for the Leafs is their lack of offence. Toronto has scored four goals in the five games while sliding to 29th overall in the league standings.

“When you look at our team, we haven’t got any offence here in the last while,” said coach Mike Babcock. “We’re all in this together, but it’s like anything, when you’re on a real good team, you get contributions from everybody.

“That might just be energy, that might be toughness, that might be penalty killing, but you’ve got to find a way to contribute to be a good teammate, that’s just part of the business.”

In an effort to jump-start the offence, Babcock juggled his lines at Monday’s practice.

Michael Grabner moved onto a line with Tyler Bozak and P.A. Parenteau while Shawn Matthias flanked Nazem Kadri and Leo Komarov.

Babcock said part of the reasoning behind the change was to give his lines more balance on the road when the home team is able to match lines.

“I think we just shuffled them up to create some sort of energy and spark and hopefully we get that done,” said Kadri, who is without a goal in five games. “Obviously (Grabner’s) got speed and Shawn Matthias is big and can skate too. We’re going to try to use him as much as possible.”

Daniel Winnik, a healthy scratch in Saturday’s 3-2 loss to the Boston Bruins, skated on a line with Byron Froese and Richard Clune.

Part of Babcock’s master plan is to convert Kadri into a regular penalty killer. Babcock toyed with the idea at Monday’s practice, but isn’t sure the 25-year-old will see penalty killing time in Philadelphia.

“We just think he’s a guy, who could be a penalty killer,” Babcock said. “I was going to wait until next season to do it, but we’re in a situation where we need it now so we’re just going to see if we can’t get him tuned up so he can do that.”

While the Leafs are mired in their longest slump of the season, the Flyers have won five of six. Tuesday is the first of three meetings between the two clubs.

NOTE: Nick Spaling, who has been out since Dec. 12 with an upper body injury, participated in practice.

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