Sports

Leafs – Penguins game night

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GAME INFO

Maple Leafs, 2-1-1, 4th within the Atlantic Division at

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Pittsburgh Penguins, 2-0-2   4th within the Metropolitan Division

Tonight, 7 p.m., PPG Area

TV: Sportsnet, Radio: FAN 590

SEASON SERIES

Maple Leafs 0-0-0, GF: 0

Penguins 0-0-0, GF: 0

When final they met

(Feb. 20, 2020 @ Tor, 4-0 Leafs)

Headline: Dwelling in America

Not since March 6, 2020 in Anaheim have the Leafs performed south of the border, so this three-gamer to Pittsburgh, Carolina and Chicago has a way of journey about it.

“My first U.S. journey this decade,” quipped captain John Tavares.

However it’s going to be a chore, a back-to-back versus a workforce but to lose in regulation, regardless of a rising injured record. Whereas massive names Sidney Crosby and Evgeny Malkin are out of the combination, self-discipline can be a key for the Leafs who’re already excessive on the league’s record for giveaways, whereas Pittsburgh is among the many lowest.

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Three issues concerning the Penguins

1. Crosby isn’t but in full contact after wrist surgical procedure, so the Leafs dodge a bullet in opposition to a star who has amassed 63 factors in 45 video games in opposition to them, with 21 of these approaching the facility play. That’s on prime of not having Malkin, Brian Rust and now Jeff Carter, who was scratched due to COVID-19 protocols.

2. This can be Toronto’s first sport in opposition to previous pal Kasperi Kapanen, who couldn’t fairly get a full-time prime six position on the Leafs, however goes to be leaned on closely by coach   Mike Sullivan throughout this manpower scarcity.

3. Tristan Jarry had a false optimistic COVID take a look at and can be eligible to play web on Saturday.

Three issues concerning the Maple Leafs

1. A nicely rested Jack Campbell is in web. His busy evening in opposition to the Rangers on Monday pushed him to sixth in league save share with a mark of .953. His play has taken extra significance after the early season groin harm to Petr Mrazek.

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2. This can be John Tavares’s fiftieth profession sport in opposition to the Penguins, his most in opposition to any opponent, having duelled Crosby and firm many instances. He and Auston Matthews may see numerous Evan Rodrigues, who’s Pittsburgh’s No. 1 centre by default.

3. As their second sport in as many nights will get to the closing levels, Leafs must play tighter defence; in different phrases, not the unfastened manner they’ve tended to begin video games to this point.

         

Maple Leafs Sport Night time Strains

LW C RW

Nick Ritchie Auston Matthews   Mitch Marner

Michael Bunting   John Tavares William Nylander

Alex Kerfoot David Kampf Ondrej Kase

Pierre Engvall   Jason Spezza Wayne Simmonds

Defence pairings

Jake Muzzin Justin Holl

Morgan Rielly TJ Brodie

Rasmus Sandin Travis Dermott

Goalies

Jack Campbell

Michael Hutchinson

PITTSBURGH PENGUINS GAME NIGHT LINES

LW C RW

Jake Guentzel Evan Rodrigues Kasperi Kapanen

Zach Aston-Reese Teddy Blueger Brock McGinn

Jason Zucker Drew O’Connor Danton Heinen

Dominik Simon Brian Boyle Sam Lafferty

DEFENCE PAIRINGS

Brian Dumoulin Kris Letang

Marcus Pettersson John Marino

Michael Matheson Chad Ruhwedel

GOALIES

Tristan Jarry

Casey DeSmith

SPECIAL TEAMS

Energy play

Toronto 21.4% (fifteenth)

Pittsburgh 16.7% (twenty first)

Penalty kill

Toronto 84.6% (ninth)

Pittsburgh 90.0% (sixth)

lhornby@postmedia.com

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