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Game Preview: Trevor Moore and the Maple Leafs take on the Blue Jackets

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The Leafs are 1-1 against Columbus this year, but will have Auston Matthews and William Nylander this time.

Detroit Red Wings v Toronto Maple Leafs
Trevor Moore is expected to play in his second career game on Friday night.
Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images

Toronto Maple Leafs vs Columbus Blue Jackets:

Time: 7:00 p.m.

Location: Nationwide Arena, Columbus, Ohio.

Broadcast/Streaming: Sportsnet Ontario, Fox Sports Ohio

Opponent SBNation Site: Jackets Cannon

It looks like Garret Sparks will start:

Toronto Maple Leafs

Forward Lines

Andreas Johnsson- John Tavares- Mitch Marner

Patrick Marleau- Auston Matthews- Kasperi Kapanen

Connor Brown- Nazem Kadri- William Nylander

Par Lindholm- Frederik Gauthier- Trevor Moore

Defence Pairings

Morgan Rielly- Ron Hainsey

Jake Gardiner- Nikita Zaitsev

Travis Dermott- Igor Ozhiganov

Goaltenders

Frederik Andersen

Garret Sparks-starter

Columbus Blue Jackets

From Left Wing Lock

Forward Lines

Artemi Panarin- Pierre Luc Dubois- Cam Atkinson

Nick Foligno- Alexander Wennberg- Anthony Duclair

Oliver Bjorkstrand- Boone Jenner- Josh Anderson

Markus Hannikainen- Brandon Dubinsky- Riley Nash

Defence Pairings

Zach Werenski- Seth Jones

Ryan Murray- Markus Nutivaara

Scott Harrington- David Savard

Goaltenders

Sergei Bobrovsky- Starter

Joonas Korpisalo

Tale of the Tape

The Maple Leafs will take on the Blue Jackets for the third time this season. Both teams won their home game against the other back in November. Columbus will have to deal with Auston Matthews and William Nylander this time around, and they played the Rangers in New York last night, so the Leafs will look to capitalize on being well-rested.

While Mike Babcock likes to play his starter in the first half of the back-to-back, John Tortorella decided to play Korpisalo last night, meaning the Leafs will have to beat a star goaltender in Bobrovsky. The Blue Jackets have the 29th ranked powerplay this season, while the Leafs sit in 6th, so let’s hope that there are plenty of penalties tonight.

Columbus’ top line is bound to create a few dangerous chances, but the Leafs should have a clear edge when matching up against their second and third lines. This matchup is just so different than it was back in November, as Kadri becomes the third best centre rather than the second best, and Par Lindholm is able to play on the fourth line wing, rather than being the third line centre.

One player who I will be watching closely is Trevor Moore, as he played just 5:27 in his first NHL game against Detroit. Mike Babcock is expected to give him powerplay time, and he was playing his third game in three days during his debut, so I expect that he could be even better tonight. I’ll also be watching Nylander closely, as he played well against the Red Wings, and a strong performance tonight would confirm that he’s back to his old self.

As Arvind wrote here, Toronto’s underlying numbers are particularly impressive ever since Nylander returned to the lineup. I am interested to see if the Leafs can continue this tonight while on the road, and Nylander is due for his first goal of the season.

Enjoy the game!