GDT: Toronto Marlies at Abbotsford Heat, Game 3 (10 p.m., LEAFS TV)

GDT: Toronto Marlies at Abbotsford Heat, Game 3 (10 p.m., LEAFS TV)

Photo: Amy Williams, AHL.com

The Marlies look to take the 2-1 edge in Game 3 of their Western Conference semifinal series tonight in Abbotsford. The game can be caught live on Leafs TV and will also be broadcasted on SiriusXM Satellite Radio on NHL Home Ice.

The Marlies showed off their speed and matched Abbotsford’s physicality much better on Thursday, and will look to do the same without taking as many penalties. Fortunately the Marlies PK has continued its league best form into the playoffs, even improving up to over 95%, and short handed situations seem to actually be providing the Marlies with the momentum, not the opposition. That’s not to say the Marlies would be smart to take another nine penalties tonight, it’s merely a testament to how effective their aggressive high-pressure penalty killing has been.

Abbotsford looked like a much different team once they were behind the eight ball coming out of the first. It forced the Heat to come out of their defensive shell, and the Marlies managed to pad the lead further as a result. On the road a good start is made that much more pivotal.

The Heat will turn to goaltender Leland Irving after Danny Taylor was handed his first loss in nine games by the Marlies Thursday. Eakins didn’t seem concerned about the new netminder as far as how it affected his team’s game plan.

“It doesn’t matter if Kiprusoff is in net. All the rules we have for our forwards and D getting out pucks through to the net, it all stays the same.”

The Marlies lineup has been left unaltered by Eakins. Jesse Blacker will remain in the lineup as Stuart Percy will not dress.

Alec Brownscombe is the founder of MapleLeafsHotStove.com, where he has written daily about the Leafs since September of 2008. He was also the editor of the 2009-12 Maple Leafs Annuals. You can contact him at [email protected]