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Leafs vs Flames preview: Watch out for weasels

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The Maple Leafs come off a big win over the Devils and now face a real challenge.

Toronto Maple Leafs v Calgary Flames Photo by Terence Leung/NHLI

Tonight the Toronto Maple Leafs take the lessons they hopefully learned from their win over the New Jersey Devils - don’t take your foot off the gas when you have a lead - and host the red-hot Calgary Flames, winners of five of their past six and only two points out of the Pacific Division lead.

The Leafs haven’t had as much luck as the Flames in January, they’re 3-2-0-1 and before beating the lowly Devils they were blown out of the water by the Florida Panthers. These two teams have already met once this season, a 4-2 loss in December, the first non-back to back loss under Sheldon Keefe.

It’s time to keep the positive energy flowing at home, and get a win streak going into the bye week.

Calgary Flames @ Toronto Maple Leafs
7:00PM - Scotiabank Arena
Watch: NHL Live, Sportsnet West, TSN4
SBN Opponent: Matchsticks and Gasoline

The Maple Leafs are struggling on defense with both Jake Muzzin and Morgan Rielly out. Muzzin is inching closer to a return, but Rielly just got put on Injured Reserve. Rasmus Sandin is up and doing well in the line up, Timothy Liljegren is here to provide moral support as coach Keefe has said Liljegren most likely won’t play.

Toronto Maple Leafs lines (from Tuesday’s game)

Zach Hyman - Auston Matthews - Mitch Marner
Alexander Kerfoot - John Tavares - William Nylander
Andreas Johnsson - Pierre Engvall - Kasperi Kapanen
Frederik Gauthier - Adam Brooks - Jason Spezza

Travis Dermott - Justin Holl
Martin Marincin - Tyson Barrie
Rasmus Sandin - Cody Ceci

Frederik Andersen
Michael Hutchinson

TSN reports that Jake Muzzin won’t be playing until after the All-Star Game, so the collection of misfits and call-ups we saw on Tuesday will be all the defense we have. That’s going to make for an interesting game.

Calgary Flames lines

Johnny Gaudreau - Sean Monahan - Mikael Backlund
Matthew Tkachuk - Elias Lindholm - Andrew Mangiapane
Milan Lucic - Derek Ryan - Dillon Dube
Zac Rinaldo - Tobias Rieder - Sam Bennett

Mark Giordano - T.J. Brodie
Noah Hanifin - Travis Hamonic
Oliver Kylington - Rasmus Andersson

David Rittich
Cam Talbot

The Flames have a lot of talent in their line up, but also a lot of players you won’t want to turn your back on. With Tkachuk, Lucic, and Rinaldo out there we’ll hear a lot about how the Maple Leafs miss Nazem Kadri and don’t have anyone to stand up to this rogues gallery.

Which, is true, I do miss Kadri in the regular season, but I like the team we have now, and if we can just out score the Flames...it is a goal scoring competition after all.

Last Game:

Quick Stats:

Preview Stats

Leafs Team Bruins
Leafs Team Bruins
6-4-1 Record 5-3-0
27GF - 30GA - -3 Goal Differential 23GF - 21GA - +2
19.4% - 20th Power Play 25% - 9th
84.9% - 9th Penalty Kill 80% - 19th
William Nylander - 5 Most Goals Bergeron / Marchand - 4
Rielly / Marner - 6 Most Assists Brad Marchand - 8
Tavares / Nylander - 9 Most Points Brad Marchand - 12
Wayne Simmonds - 11 Most PM Charlie McAvoy - 8
Morgan Rielly - 24:23 TOI Leader Charlie McAvoy - 23:30
Jack Campbell - .932sv% Starting Goalie Linus Ullmark - .927sv%

Game’s at 7. Go Leafs Go!