Carolina Hurricanes @ Toronto Maple Leafs - Game 66
07:00 PM at Scotiabank Arena
Watch on: SN, BSSO

The Leafs last game was away on March 14 against the Philadelphia Flyers, which Toronto won by a thumping of 6-2 in regulation. The Leafs have a record of 38-19-8 for a 0.646 Points %.

The Carolina Hurricanes last played at home on March 14 against the Florida Panthers. The Hurricanes won by a score of 4-0 in regulation, and their current league record is 40-20-6 for a 0.652 Points %.


Carolina has a record very similar to the Leafs with very similar points. They can theoretically catch the New York Rangers for first place in the Metro, but even making up four points is tough with so few games left. They can't be caught by anyone below them and look destined to finish in second place.

And yet given all of that they made big deadline moves. They punted their overestimated and overpaid acquisition Michael Bunting back to Kyle Dubas for Jake Guentzel, and they shocked everyone by trading for Evgeny Kuznetsov. They also waived a whole list of regrettable purchases just in case someone felt like doing them a favour. No one did.

If Kuznetsov can bring even half his former glory to the team, they now have an impressive and relentless set of forward lines with danger in every combination.

If you look at the last five years combined, the Hurricanes are the top team in Expected Goals at five-on-five with an impressive 57%. This season the Oilers are the only team ahead of their 56%. Cups won in this period: zero.

Their all-situations goaltending is ninth over that period, a help they can't count on this year. They are 21st in the league.

There have been as many theories, certainties, "you can't win with..." statements and every other form of summertime lamentation about the Hurricanes as there have been the Leafs. We just rarely hear them. But the 'Canes have never turned their regular season dominance of possession into playoff success. They keep trying, though.

This is not their best team over the past few years. Their power play is a little tepid – or it was before the deadline. Their goaltending shorthanded is a little worse than it is overall. They're second in a division where no one wanted to make the playoffs.


Last Game (03/12) via Daily Faceoff

Andrei Svechnikov - Sebastian Aho - Teuvo Teravainen
Jake Guentzel - Evgeny Kuznetsov - Martin Necas
Jordan Martinook - Jordan Staal - Seth Jarvis
Stefan Noesen - Jesperi Kotkaniemi - Jesper Fast

Jaccob Slavin - Brent Burns
Brady Skjei - Brett Pesce
Dmitry Orlov - Jalen Chatfield

Frederik Andersen
Pyotr Kochetkov


Mitch Marner is out for a period of time the Leafs are being cagey about. He has a high ankle sprain, but it is said to be not serious and he is already skating. He definitely won't play today, though.

Ilya Lyubushkin missed practice yesterday for maintenance after a rough game against the Flyers, but he is expected to play.

Calle Järnkrok is week-to-week with some kind of hand injury suffered in a hit into the boards.

Lines from yesterday reset the Domi as 2C system with Connor Dewar and David Kämpf both on the fourth line. Ryan Reaves seems to be out in favour of Noah Gregor.

Big scary moment when Ilya Samsonov left morning skate in pain, but...


Mark Masters via Daily Faceoff from yesterday's practice

Tyler Bertuzzi - Auston Matthews - Pontus Holmberg
Bobby McMann - Max Domi - William Nylander
Matthew Knies - John Tavares - Nicholas Robertson
Connor Dewar - David Kämpf - Noah Gregor

T.J. Brodie - Jake McCabe
Morgan Rielly - Ilya Lyubushkin
Joel Edmundson - Timothy Liljegren

Ilya Samsonov - starter
Joe Woll

The Game

This is the green game, so it will be colourful. It's unlikely the Leafs will thump the Hurricanes, but on the other hand, well, it's actually likely the Leafs continue their struggles at zone exits. But in general, these teams are too close to pick between.