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Leafs vs. Stars Preview: Back On Track and a New Third Pair

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The Leafs play host to the team from Texas as they try to get back on track.

NHL: Toronto Maple Leafs at Dallas Stars Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Dallas Stars: Game 13

Time: 7:00 PM

Location: Scotiabank Arena

Broadcast/Streaming: TSN4, Fox Sports SW

Opponent SBNation Site: Defending Big D ;)

After playing Calgary and getting stifled like an artistic-minded child whose parents only value the STEM disciplines, the Leafs will try to get back into the win column tonight against Dallas. Let’s roll.

Maple Leafs

Forward Lines

Zach Hyman - John Tavares - Mitch Marner

Patrick Marleau - Nazem Kadri - Kasperi Kapanen

Andreas Johnsson - Par Lindholm - Connor Brown

Tyler Ennis - Frederik Gauthier - Josh Leivo

Defence Pairings

Morgan Rielly - Ron Hainsey

Jake Gardiner - Nikita Zaitsev

Martin Marincin - Igor Ozhiganov

Except no.

Put away the pitchforks and torches, Dermott fans. Marincin fans, we have a sale on pitchforks and torches here at PPP if you need any.

Goaltenders

Frederik Andersen

Garret Sparks

There’s no denying this lineup is less fun to look at with Auston Matthews, William Nylander, and Travis Dermott out of it (though Dermott is recovering from his illness and getting up to speed.) Martin Marincin who brings his own unique flair. It was less fun to watch on the ice last game, too. The Leafs are still capable of winning with this lineup, but they’re going to have to play better and smarter.

Dallas Stars

Forward Lines

Justin Dowling - Tyler Seguin - Alex Radulov*

Jamie Benn - Jason Spezza - Mattias Janmark

Valeri Nichushkin - Radek Faksa - Gemel Smith

Devin Shore - Jason Dickinson - Blake Comeau

Defence Pairings

Esa Lindell - John Klingberg

Marc Methot - Miro Heiskanen

Julius Honka - Roman Polak

Goaltenders

Anton Khudobin

Ben Bishop

That asterisk is because it’s been suggested Radulov may not play tonight as he recovers from injury. If so, that’s a big loss for the Stars. Their depth scoring has rebounded a bit so far, with Jason Spezza and Devin Shore producing, but they still rely on their big guns. RD Connor Carrick is coming back from injury as well, only to be confronted with Roman Polak stealing his job again like an eternal curse.

Ben Bishop is healthy (surprise!) but the team is apparently going to rest him as they try to help him stay that way. Journeyman Anton Khudobin is capable of doing the job, despite a ho hum couple of games to start the year.

The Stars are a middling-to-above-average team. They get outshot but get good chances and have some finishing talent; they can make the playoffs but probably aren’t a genuine contender. This game is likely to be less fun than the gong show the last time these teams met, but let’s hope for another Leaf win.

Go Leafs Go!


We’ll keep you posted on any more changes or surprises.