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Kessel has bruised foot but is expected to play against Flames

Leafs Phil Kessel(81) breaks up ice during the third period of the NHL game between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Toronto Maple Leafs at the ACC in Toronto, Ontario on Oct. 26, 2013.

Peter Power/The Globe and Mail

The bruised right foot Phil Kessel suffered when a pass from linemate James van Riemsdyk bounced off him last Saturday is not expected to keep him out of Tuesday's game against the Calgary Flames.

While Kessel did not take part in the Leafs' one practice since Saturday and also skipped Tuesday's optional game-day skate, Leafs head coach Randy Carlyle said the right winger told him he "is available" to play against the Flames.

Also missing from the skate were goaltender Jonathan Bernier, defenceman Dion Phaneuf and forwards Mason Raymond, Nikolai Kulemin, Tyler Bozak and Dave Bolland. All of them are expected to play as well.

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Bernier will start his fourth consecutive game as the Leafs face the difficult task of breaking their eight-game losing streak and winning all of their last six regular-season games to have any chance of making the playoffs.

"Our spirits are up, our morale is up," Phaneuf said. "That's the way you have to conduct business."

Carlyle was asked if the Leafs' playoff chances are realistic and said they are "realistic if you win." The best way to do that, he added, is "don't look past tonight."

The coach said lineup changes are possible but there really isn't anything major Carlyle can do with his lineup. Unless you consider Colton Orr and Paul Ranger moving into the fourth line and third defence pair, respectively, major changes.

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About the Author
Hockey columnist

A native of Wainfleet, Ont., David Shoalts joined The Globe in 1984 after working at the Calgary Herald, Calgary Sun and Toronto Sun. He graduated in 1978 from Conestoga College and also attended the University of Waterloo. More

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