Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Washington Capitals: 7:00pm
Watch on: TSN4 (blackouts in effect)
Opponent’s site: Japers’ Rink

After all those back-to-back games it’s time to relax with some random Tuesday night out-of-the-division hockey against... oh the Capitals. Well out of the frying pan and into the fire I suppose. The Caps lead the Metropolitan division with an 8-2-3 record.

Travis Dermott returns tonight to the lineup from a shoulder injury which dates back to last season so there is some movement in the defence pairings.

Maple Leafs Lines
(reported by Kristen Shilton at Leafs practice yesterday)

Andreas Johnsson - Auston Matthews - William Nylander
Ilya Mikheyev - Alexander Kerfoot - Mitch Marner
Trevor Moore - Jason Spezza - Kasperi Kapanen
Dmytro Timashov - Nick Shore - Frederik Gauthier

Morgan Rielly - Cody Ceci
Jake Muzzin - Tyson Barrie
Travis Dermott - Justin Holl

Frederik Andersen
Michael Hutchinson

Morgan Rielly was not actually at practice yesterday but is assumed to be playing tonight and Kevin Gravel will be a healthy scratch.

Capitals Lines
(reported by Samantha Pell)

Alex Ovechkin - Nicklas Backstrom - T.J. Oshie
Jakub Vrana - Evgeny Kuznetsov - Tom Wilson (UGH)
Carl Hagelin - Lars Eller - Garnet Hathaway
Brendan Leipsic - Nic Dowd - Travis Boyd

Michal Kempny - John Carlson
Dmitry Orlov - Radko Gudas
Jonas Siegenthaler - Nick Jensen

Braden Holtby
Ilya Samsonov

Injured: Richard Panik

We’re all interested to see what happens with Dermott back in the lineup tonight. His tenacity is an asset. I liked it on the Marlies and admit I underrated his contribution there for sometime.

Speaking of the Marlies, our old friend Brendan Leipsic has wound up on the Capitals. He was a big time AHL scorer for the Marlies in the 2015-16 season. You may remember his name as the player the Golden Knights took from the Leafs in the Expansion Draft in 2017. He’s become a journeyman since then. The Golden Knights signed him to a two year deal, but then traded him to the Canucks. The Canucks put him on waivers the next season and he was claimed by the Kings. The Caps signed him to a one year deal in free agency. He’s still looking for his first goal of the season which... you know that means there’s a good chance it will come tonight.

Maple Leafs implode in the second period, lose to the Capitals 4-3

The Leafs already faced the Capitals once this season back on October 16th. It was a game you probably have blocked from your memory in which the Capitals scored three times in 78 seconds. And, yes, that was a segababa game (I promise I won’t use that term again for a few [one] weeks,) and, yes, Hutchinson was in net.

Tonight we get to see the other side of that scenario; both teams are entering this game well rested so we should know quickly what difference that actually makes. Holtby takes on Andersen this time. We also have to deal again with a team that thought Tom Wilson was not sufficient to meet a quota of dangerous, stupid and suspension-worthy plays, so they added Radko Gudas.

This should be fun.

Will the Leafs win this one?

Yes. Mikheyev is going ot show up all those Russians on the Caps.99
Yes, because it’s not the second game of a back-to-back.50
No, because it’s not the first game of a back-to-back.20
No, because Leipsic will get the obligatory ex-Leafs hat trick.47