The Toronto Maple Leafs will host the Pittsburgh Penguins tonight. Here are your pre-game notes:
- This is the third of four meetings between the two teams this season. The Leafs won 4-3 on October 13 while the Penguins won 5-2 on December 8th. This is the first meeting at the Air Canada Centre.
- This will be Alex Kovalev’s second game with the Penguins. He recorded no points in 19 minutes of ice time last night against the Carolina Hurricanes.
- Since the Hurricanes won last night, the Leafs find themselves six points out of the eighth and final playoff spot once again. They must win tonight to get themselves back into serious playoff contention.
- Toronto’s Phil Kessel has six goals and eight points in his last five games, while goalie James Reimer has not lost in regulation in his last seven starts, going 5-0-2.
- Toronto has managed to keep itself in playoff contention due to its outstanding play. The Leafs have won four of their last five, and eight of 12 games this month.
- The Penguins have lost four straight games and six of their last seven.
- The Leafs will be without Colton Orr and Jonas Gustavsson, while Jean-Sebastien Giguere is expected to be available.
- Pittsburgh’s Brooks Orpik, Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Mark Letestu, Mike Comrie, Arron Asham, Chris Kunitz, Eric Tangradi and Nick Johnson will all miss tonight’s game due to injury.
First line: MacArthur-Grabovski-Kulemin
Second line: Lupul-Bozak-Kessel
Third line: Armstrong-Boyce-Brown
Fourth line: Rosehill/Crabb-Brent-Sjostrom
First defence pairing: Aulie-Phaneuf
Second defence pairing: Gunnarson-Schenn
Third defence pairing: Lebda-Schenn
Goalies: 1. Reimer 2. Giguere
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