Toronto Maple Leafs @ New York Rangers
07:00 PM at Madison Square Garden
Watch on: MSG, TSN4
The Leafs last game was an away game on April 11 against the Tampa Bay Lightning, which Toronto won by a score of 4-3. The Leafs have a record of 49-21-11 so far.
The New York Rangers last played at home on April 10 against the Buffalo Sabres. The Rangers lost by a score of 3-2, and their current league record is 47-21-13.
The Rangers can't move out of third place in the Metro, and are merely waiting to see if they are bussing to their first round matchup or flying down to Carolina.
It's unlikely that they want to play Patrick Kane and his rickety hip, or any other even slightly injured player but they have no cap space, and currently have a roster of 21. So they could swap an extra defender for a forward, but that's about it.
Mollie Walker via Daily Faceoff
Chris Kreider - Mika Zibanejad - Patrick Kane
Artemi Panarin - Vincent Trocheck - Vladimir Tarasenko
Alexis Lafreniere - Filip Chytil - Kaapo Kakko
Jimmy Vesey - Barclay Goodrow - Tyler Motte
Ryan Lindgren - Adam Fox
K'Andre Miller - Jacob Trouba
Niko Mikkola - Braden Schneider
Jaroslav Halak - likely starter
If the Leafs had heaps of cap space, we'd likely barely recognize the lineup, but they don't, so the most they can do is rotate defenders and rest two forwards. Expect to not see Ilya Samsonov at all, since the Leafs signed Samuel Richard from the University of New Brunswick and formerly the QMJHL to back up Woll.
Matt Knies will be playing in his third game, with Sam Lafferty, Erik Gustafsson and John Tavares absent from morning skate. It's not clear if Tavares and Lafferty will play or not, but the lines below from morning skate look like the gameplan to me.
Michael Bunting - Auston Matthews - Mitch Marner
Matt Knies - Ryan O'Reilly - William Nylander
Alex Kerfoot - Noel Acciari - Calle Järnkrok
Zach Aston-Reese - David Kämpf - Conor Timmins
TJ Brodie - Justin Holl
Mark Giordano - Timothy Liljegren
Morgan Rielly - Luke Schenn
Joe Woll - starter
The Rangers don't want injuries, the Leafs don't want injuries, but emotions may rule the day. I don't expect a score of 28-24 in PIM like the last game, but it might not be a whistle-free, get-this-over-with game either.
Go Leafs Go!