The Toronto Maple Leafs host the Ottawa Senators on opening night of the NHL preseason (7 pm ET, Leafs TV).
John-Michael Liles and Philippe Dupuis are expected to make their debuts in Maple Leafs sweaters, while Jonas Gustavsson will start in goal and split the duties with Ben Scrivens
For the Senators, Alex Auld starts, and Robin Lehner will play the latter half.
Leafs fans will get a look at what Leafs brass seem to have penciled in as their third line for opening night in Nazem Kadri, Tyler Bozak and Colby Armstrong. Burke did make it clear that the left wing resident of that line is written in pencil, not pen, and there will be opportunity for Matt Frattin and Joe Colborne to erase that slot and put their own names in there. You have to figure Kadri has the edge before the puck drops on the preseason games, however.
Colborne and Frattin will in fact be playing together tonight while looking to make the type of impression that would usurp the role from Kadri.
Tonight’s game will also mark the debut of the proposed goal-verification line.Â The concept, which was unveiled at the summer research and development camp, is intended to help eliminate confusion as to whether or not the puck crosses the goal line. Since the line is one puck length behind the goal line, any puck that touches the verification line is deemed a good goal.
Projected line combinations (Maple Leafs):
Projected line combinations (Senators):
Elsewhere, the Hurricanes visit the Sabres, and the Predators are in Florida to face the Panthers in a doubleheader. It is believed to be the first-of-its-kind in the NHL.
I know it’s only game one of the preseason, but who else is giddy with excitement that hockey is finally back?!
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