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Gameday: Toronto vs Chicago

Last time they met the Leafs won 3-2 in overtime.

NHL: OCT 27 Maple Leafs at Blackhawks Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Chicago at Toronto Maple Leafs
7:00PM - CBC, Sportsnet, NBC Sports Chicago
Opponent site: Second City Hockey

Earlier this season the Toronto Maple Leafs defeated Chicago 3-2 in over time, with William Nylander capping off the come back from a 2-0 deficit.

That was early in the season (game 8) and now the Maple Leafs have shot up to the top of the standings, sitting 18-8-2, and Chicago wallowing near the bottom with a 10-14-2 record.

Them

Chicago hasn’t been great, but has been okay as of late. They are 3-2 in their past five, including a great shutout win over the Canadiens. The wins have been narrow mostly, and had one big 6-2 loss to the Rangers. They’ve been treating some of their bigger name players oddly - mostly scratching Dylan Strome because he can’t be trusted. They recently acquired Kurtis Gabriel from the Toronto Marlies, and it sounds like he’ll play in the NHL for them.

Lines

Alex Debrincat - Kirby Dach - Patrick Kane
Brandon Hagel - Jonathan Toews - Reese Johnson
Dominik Kubalik - Dylan Strome - Philipp Kurashev
Ryan Carpenter - Josiah Slavin - Mike Hardman

Calvin de Haan - Seth Jones
Jake McCabe - Connor Murphy
Riley Stillman - Erik Gustafsson

Kevin Lankinen
Marc-Andre Fluery

Caleb Jones, Henrik Borgstrom, Tyler Johnson, Jujhar Khaira are all out, Kurtis Gabriel is a game time decision.

Us

The Maple Leafs had an amazing November, but December hasn’t started as great. A 2-2-0-1, with only one big loss to the Winnipeg Jets* (6-3). The personnel losses have been bigger however, with Rasmus Sandin and Travis Dermott injured, Mitch Marner heading to IR, and Jason Spezza getting suspended. It has given us a chance to see rookies Alex Steeves and Kristiāns Rubīns in the NHL, and the results haven’t been half bad.

It sounds like Petr Mrázek will be back in net tonight, and coach Sheldon Keefe had some good advice for the team:

Lines

Michael Bunting - Auston Matthews - Ondřej Kaše
Alexander Kerfoot - John Tavares - William Nylander
Nick Ritchie - David Kämpf - Wayne Simmonds
Kyle Clifford - Pierre Engvall - Alexander Steeves

Morgan Rielly - TJ Brodie
Jake Muzzin - Timothy Liljegren
Kristiāns Rubīns - Justin Holl

Petr Mrázek
Jack Campbell

Small changes on defence, but close to what we say against the Lightning.

Preview Stats

Toronto Team Long Island
Toronto Team Long Island
24-10-3 Record 14-13-6
125GF - 98GA - +27 Goal Differential 78GF - 85GA - -7
29.5% - 1st Power Play 17.2% - 23rd
83.5% - 7th Penalty Kill 82.2% - 10th
Auston Matthews - 25 Most Goals Brock Nelson - 13
Morgan Rielly - 27 Most Assists Matthew Barzal - 17
Auston Matthews - 41 Most Points Matthew Barzal - 24
Wayne Simmonds - 40 Most PM Zdeno Chara - 64
Morgan Rielly - 24:12 TOI Leader Adam Pelech - 21:24
Petr Mrázek - .882sv% Starting Goalie Semyon Varlamov - .917sv%

Puck drops soon, folks. Go Leafs go!