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Maple Leafs First Game January 19 vs. Montreal Canadiens, Home Opener January 21 vs. Buffalo Sabres

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MAPLE LEAFS FIRST GAME
The Toronto Maple Leafs are ready to get back into action. | AP

The Toronto Maple Leafs will kick off the shortened 2013 NHL season on Saturday Jan. 19 in Montreal against the Montreal Canadiens. The game will be televised on CBC.

The Leafs will hold their home opener on Monday, Jan. 21 against the Buffalo Sabres. The full Leafs schedule was released on Saturday night, shortly after the NHL and NHLPA signed the memorandum of understanding that officially ended the lockout.

Due to this year's lockout the NHL will play a shortened 48 game season.

The Leafs fired General Manager Brian Burke earlier this week and added more drama in Toronto. The team is struggling to end a long playoff drought that Burke was not able to break. Will Burke protege and replacement Dave Nonis be able to get the job done?

The Leafs still need a reliable franchise goaltender and they may find one in the Canucks’ Roberto Luongo. The off-season acquisition of James van Riemsdyk from the Flyers gives the Leafs another offensive weapon. The Toronto Marlies, the Leafs’ AHL affiliate, are also having a great season which will hopefully rub off when those players get called up to the NHL. Leafs fans have reason to be cautiously optimistic in 2013.

GALLERY: Canada's NHL Teams get back into action

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