Pittsburgh Penguins at Toronto Maple Leafs

Time: 7:00PM

Location: Scotiabank Arena, Toronto (The real Mecca of Hockey)

Broadcast/Streaming: TVA Sports, TSN4, TSN1050

Opponent SBNation Site: Pensburgh

Tonight we play a ‘very special team’ as Lars Eller calls them. The most recent back to back Stanley Cup champions, home of Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, and Phill Kessel and league leader in bankruptcies: the Pittsburgh Penguins!

Clearly feeling the fatigue of all those long playoff runs, the Penguins have only won two of their first games, with a 2-1-2 record. The Maple Leafs on the other hand haven’t made it past the first round of the playoffs in three years, and are plenty rested so they’re off on a 6-1 start.

The Penguins are coming to Toronto after losing to the Canucks in overtime on Tuesday, and the Maple Leafs easily beat the Kings Monday night.  The Leafs are well rested, on a winning streak, and ready for anything. And hey! Freddie’s back!

Maple Leafs

From morning skate.

Forward Lines

Patrick Marleau - Auston Matthews - Kasperi Kapanen
Zach Hyman - John Tavares - Mitch Marner
Par Lindholm - Nazem Kadri - Connor Brown
Josh Leivo - Frederik Gauthier - Tyler Ennis

The forward corps is on fire right now, with Auston Matthews leading the NHL in points and goals, and four Maple Leafs are in the top 10 in scoring in the league. The only change is Ennis in for Johnsson, which side those depth wingers will play is not something anyone seems to agree on.

Defence Pairings

Morgan Rielly - Ron Hainsey
Jake Gardiner - Nikita Zaitsev
Travis Dermott - Igor Ozhiganov

Defense? Who needs it. Morgan Rielly is #2 in the league in points and that’s all the matters.


Frederik Andersen
Garret Sparks

Andersen is back in net, and Eamon McAdams is back in the AHL. Sparks played well against LA, and he should be starting tonight if Andersen isn’t 100%.

Pittsburgh Penguins

From yesterday’s practice.

Forward Lines

Jake Guentzel - Sidney Crosby - Byron Rust
Carl Hagelin - Evgeni Malkin - Phil Kessel
Dominik Simon - Derick Brassard - Patric Hornqvist
Daniel Sprong - Matt Cullen - Riley Sheahan

Eh, it’s an okay forward group.

Defence Pairings

Brian Dumoulin - Kris Letang
Olli Maatta - Jamie Oleksiak
Jack Johnson - Chad Ruhwedel

Jack Johnson on the third pairing, making $3.25m. That’s the stuff.


Matt Murray
Casey DeSmith

Matt Murray’s already been injured this season, and DeSmith has played one full game, splitting the Penguins wins with Murray at one each.

Leafs vs Penguins

Maple LeafsTeamDevils
33GF - 23GA - +10Goal Differential17GF - 19GA - -2
47.4% - 1st overallPower Play23.1 - 15th overall
84.2% - 8th overallPenalty Kill92.3% - 4th overall
Auston Matthews - 10Most GoalsGuentzel / Kessel - 4
Morgan Rielly - 10Most AssistsEvgeni Malkin - 8
Auston Matthews - 16Most PointsEvgeni Malkin - 9
Josh Leivo - 7Most PMSimon / Hagelin - 6
Nikita Zaitsev - 22:09TOI LeaderKris Letang - 26:21
Frederik Andersen - .899sv%Starting GoalieCasey DeSmith - .922sv%

The Maple Leafs easily dispatched their first tough opponent of the season, when they defeated the Washington Capitals 4-2 on Saturday night. Now, the Penguins are in town, ready to challenge the Maple Leafs often questioned defense. Will the Leafs have to outscore their problems, as they did against Chicago and Dallas, or will we have a closer match like against the Capitals?