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Game Preview: Bringing a slice of Golden Knights pie to Scotiabank Arena

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The Leafs have a chance to improve on their home record with Vegas in the building.

NHL: Vegas Golden Knights at Toronto Maple Leafs John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS AT TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS

7:00PM - Scotiabank Arena

Broadcast/Streaming: NHL Live, NHL Network, TSN4, ATTSN-RM

Opponent SBNation Site: Knights on Ice


The Leafs showed their dominance on the road Saturday night against the Pittsburgh Penguins shutting them out 5-0. It was a full 60-minute effort (for the most part), pucks went in the net, and the penalty kill did it’s job not allowing the Penguins to score on any of their five opportunities.

But that was PPG Paints Arena. The Leafs will be looking to improve on their 3-5-0 record at Scotiabank Arena, and hopefully score a goal earlier than in the final ten minutes of the third.

Vegas, on the other hand, hasn’t been as stellar away from the city that never sleeps. You could also say they haven’t as stellar a start the season after their Disney run last year to the Stanley Cup Final. Their last ten games has seen them go 4-4-2, with the Golden Knights rarely scoring more than three goals.

They did get four against the Buffalo Sabres and Ottawa Senators, but that’s not too much of an accomplishment in the grand scheme of things.

Given the Gerrard Gallant style, this game could go one of two ways: Either the Leafs run wild remembering their 6-3 loss to Vegas last New Year’s Eve, or Babcock tries to match styles making it a close one to two goal contest. Fingers crossed on the former.

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

Travis Dermott - Igor Ozhiganov

Goaltenders

Frederik Andersen / Garret Sparks

Golden Knights

Forward Lines

Jonathan Marchessault - William Karlsson - Rielly Smith

Max Pacioretty - Erik Haula - Alex Tuch

Tomas Nosek - Cody Eakin - Ryan Carpenter

Will Carrier - Pierre-Èdouard Bellemare - Ryan Reaves

Defence Pairings

Shea Theodore - Deryk Engelland

Brayden McNabb - Colin Miller

Nick Holden - Brand Hunt

Goaltenders

Marc-Andre Fleury / Malcom Subban


De Stats

Maple Leafs Team Golden Knights
Maple Leafs Team Golden Knights
48GF - 39GA - (+9) Goal Differential 33GF - 39GA - (-6)
30.8% - 4th Overall Power Play 12.5% - 28th Overall
82.5% - 6th Overall Penalty Kill 82% - 8th Overall
Auston Matthews - 10 Most Goals Jonathan Marchessault
Mitch Marner - 14 Most Assists Jonathan Marchessault / William Karlsson - 7
Morgan Rielly - 18 Most Points Jonathan Marchessault - 13
Igor Ozhiganov / Zach Hyman / Nazem Kadri - 8 Most PMs Jon Merill - 21
Morgan Rielly - 22:27 TOI Leader Colin Miller - 21:45
Frederik Andersen - .924 Sv% Starting Goaltender Marc-Andrew Fleury - .901 Sv%

It was unclear as to whether Vegas will have Pacioretty in the lineup for tonight. Gallant said the 29-year-old will check with the medical staff after morning skate. Pacioretty has missed the last four games and it would be fitting to have his return be against the team he spent so much time facing over his 11-year career.

That said, he has 19 goals and 9 assists in 38 games vs the Leafs, and should be a name to look out for. Especially as the offence hasn’t gone his way yet.

The Leafs put on a strong performance in Pittsburgh and need to find a way to bring that level on home ice. A lack of Auston Matthews has nothing to do with it. John Tavares and Morgan Rielly stood up to the plate goal-wise and Mitch Marner is continuing down the path of league-wide domination.

As for the rest of the forward lines, a little bit of scoring depth never hurt anyone.


Confirmation of Vegas lines: