After a four game road swing (2-2-0), the Maple Leafs return home for a brief one-gamer versus the Pittsburgh Penguins before heading back on the road for a three game set against Ottawa, New Jersey and Columbus.Â Tonight’s game marks an unlikely battle of division leaders: At 6-2-1 the Leafs hold the lead in the Northeast by a single point over the Buffalo Sabres; meanwhile, at 8-2-2 the Crosby-less Penguins hold a commanding seven point lead in the Atlantic.
The embattled Jonas Gustavsson, coming off an excellent performance Thursday night in New York, gets the start in net again as James Reimer will not be eligible to return from IR until tomorrow at the earliest. For Pittsburgh, Marc-Andre Fleury gets a rest tonight while backup goaltender Brent Johnson gets the call.
Phil Kessel, 9-9-7-16 (season), 19-6-8-14 (vs Pittsburgh)
Joffrey Lupul, 9-5-5-10 (season, 12-2-4-6 (vs Pittsburgh)
Mikhail Grabovski, 9-3-1-4 (season), 11-2-5-7 (vs Pittsburgh)
Dion Phaneuf, 9-2-7-9 (season), 8-1-4-5 (vs Pittsburgh)
Jonas Gustavsson, 2-2-0, 4.09, .876 (season), 1-2-0, 4.01, 867 (vs Pittsburgh)
Evgeni Malkin, 5-1-4-5 (season), 16-7-28-35 (vs Toronto)
James Neal, 12-9-1-10 (season), 5-4-1-5 (vs Toronto)
Steve Sullivan, 12-0-3-3 (season), 16-6-8-14 (vs Toronto)
Kris Letang, 10-1-8-9 (season), 14-0-5-5 (vs Toronto)
Brent Johnson, 1-0-2, 1.91, .925 (season), 4-3-0, 3.39, .853 (vs Toronto)
Colby Armstrong (ankle), James Reimer (concussion)
Sidney Crosby (concussion), Tyler Kennedy (concussion), Zbynek Michalek (finger), Jordan Staal (lower body)
Stat of the Week That May Only Interest Me
The Maple Leafs‘ blueline corps ranks 2nd in the NHL for points scored with 27.Â The Philadelphia Flyers lead the league with 28 points scored by their defenders, while the Tampa Bay Lightning are 3rd in that category with 26.