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Preview: Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Winnipeg Jets (UPDATED)

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You cannot escape the Matthews vs. Laine story

Winnipeg Jets v Toronto Maple Leafs Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images

Toronto Maple Leafs at Winnipeg Jets: Game 59

Time: 7:30 pm Eastern Time

Location: Air Canada Centre, Center of the Universe.

Broadcast/Streaming: TSN4 (blackouts in effect)

Opponent SBNation Site: Arctic Ice Hockey

Matthews vs. Laine! MATTHEWS VS. LAINE! There’s no escaping this folks. Everyone is talking about it today.

Of course, there’s a good reason this talk of a rivalry persists: the first game of this season. You may have blacked it out from your memory, so here’s a quick refresher: “it was 4-1”. Actually, at one point half way through the second, it was 4-0 for the Leafs. They lost the game 5-4 in OT with the Jets scoring five goals in a row. Even if you don’t remember it, you can guess which Jets player it was that scored the game winning goal, the proverbial cherry on the cake for them in that game.

But, Matthews did look good in that game back in October. He looks even better now. So sit back and enjoy the rivalry that will play out tonight.

A more urgent race for these teams is to simply get in the playoffs. Sure, they aren’t racing each other, but both the Leafs and Jets are sitting one point out of the wild card slot. They both need wins right now to cement their chances. Expect both to start out fast and furious.

The Jets are coming off two big wins last weekend; defeating the Canadiens 3-1 Saturday, and the Senators 3-2 on Sunday. The Leafs had a big 4-0 win on Sunday against the Hurricanes, but that was after getting drubbed by the Senators 6-3 on Saturday.

Mitch Marner is still out with an injury. The Jets will be playing without Jacob Trouba, who was suspended two games for his check to Mark Stone’s head in Sunday’s game.

UPDATE:

There’s a minimum seven day requirement for injured reserve. Making it retroactive to February 15th means Marner could next play in Thursday’s game vs. the Rangers.

Toronto Maple Leafs:

Forward Lines

Zach Hyman - Auston Matthews - William Nylander

James van Riemsdyk - Tyler Bozak - Connor Brown

Leo Komarov - Nazem Kadri - Josh Leivo

Matt Martin - Frederik Gauthier - Nikita Soshnikov

Defence Pairings

Morgan Rielly - Nikita Zaitsev

Jake Gardiner - Connor Carrick

Matt Hunwick - Roman Polak

Goaltenders

Frederik Andersen

Curtis McElhinney

Winnipeg Jets:

Nikolaj Ehlers - Bryan Little - Blake Wheeler

Mathieu Perreault - Mark Scheifele - Patrik Laine

Shawn Matthias - Adam Lowry - Joel Armia

Brandon Tanev - Nic Petan - Chris Thorburn

Defence Pairings

Ben Chiarot - Dustin Byfuglien

Josh Morrissey - Paul Postma

Mark Stuart - Julian Melchiori

Goaltenders

Connor Hellebuyck

Michael Hutchinson

These lines are from the most recent games played, except I have noted Andersen is expected to start tonight for the Leafs. I will update them as new information comes out during the day.