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Game Preview: Washington Capitals at Toronto Maple Leafs

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The Maple Leafs kick off a new run of games after what was essentially a bye week.

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Five days have passed since the last Maple Leafs game, a 4-3 shootout loss to the Boston Bruins. It's been a quiet week for the Maple Leafs, except for that part where they had a practice the day after their 3-game-in-4-day run ended.

The day after.

And guess what happened? Reimer got injured. After four days off, he's still injured.

Good planning, guys. He had to get right back into it. Couldn't take a day off.

Jonathan Bernier is in net tonight, and Garret Sparks makes his NHL debut as backup. Could he see ice time? Sparks is also the second player this season to move up to the Leafs after playing for their ECHL affiliate, the Orlando Solar Bears. It will be quite the night so let's get right into it.

Washington Capitals at Toronto Maple Leafs
7:00PM - Air Canada Centre
TV: CBC Radio: TSN1050
SBN: Japers Rink

The Washington Capitals are one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference. Sitting second in the Metro division and third in the East overall. The Caps boast a lot of offense up front, and have one of the hottest young goaltenders in the NHL with Brayden Holtby. The Caps have a +22 goal differential, behind only The Rangers and The Canadiens. Down Goes Brown wrote an excellent piece about why the Capitals could be the most dangerous team in the east.

The Leafs will have their hands full on defense and in net tonight. To get a win they will have to stay on top of the Capitals best players, and Bernier will have to turn his season around before the second period. We could see Sparks in net tonight if the Capitals come out full force quickly and Bernier is yanked from the net. Remember, these are the regular season Capitals, not the playoff Capitals.

Projected Line Ups

Toronto

James van Riemsdyk - Nazem Kadri - Leo Komarov
Shawn Matthias - Tyler Bozak - P.A. Parenteau
|Peter Holland - Byron Froese - Joffrey Lupul
Michael Grabner - Nick Spaling - Brad Boyes

Jake Gardiner - Dion Phaneuf
Matt Hunwick - Morgan Rielly
Martin Marincin - Roman Polak

Jonathan Bernier
Garret Sparks

Injured: Stephane Robidas (Lou Lamoriello's crowbar), James Reimer (lower body), Nathan Horton (forever)
Scratched: Frank Corrado, Daniel Winnik

Washington

Alex Ovechkin - Nicklas Backstrom - T.J. Oshie
Marcus Johansson - Evgeny Kuznetsov - Justin Williams\
Jason Chimera - Jay Beagle - Andre Burakovsky
Brooks Laich- Michael Latta - Tom Wilson

Nate Schmidt - John Carlson
Matt Niskanen - Karl Alzner
Dmitry Orlov - Taylor Chorney

Braden Holtby
Philipp Grubauer

Injured: Brooks Orpik (lower body)
Scratched: Stanislav Galiev

Game starts at 7:00, we'll have the GDT up at 6:30!

Go Leafs Go!