With just a single goal in their past two games, the Leafs need their top six to wake up offensively as they begin a three-game road trip at the Verizon Center tonight in Washington, DC.
Interesting stat of the evening – Since Lupul was traded to Toronto, Kessel has scored just three goals in 22 games with Joffrey out injured (0 goals in 6 games without him this season, 3 in 16 to end last season).
It’s more than just Lupul’s absence, however. He’s gripping his stick a little tight now and getting some terrible luck despite throwing a ton of rubber on net from all sorts of different positions. If Kessel hits another post, he may just drop to his knees and ask the puck if it’s too good for its home.
It’s not just Kessel who needs to get back on the scoresheet; Mikhail Grabovski is pointless in his last four and MacArthur has points in just one of his six games this season.
Ben Scrivens will start in net for the Leafs, his first game since giving up five and getting the yank against the New York Islanders. After some of his goals against in that collapse, it’s reasonable for you to be nervous.
The Capitals are coming off a 6-3 home loss to the Penguins. Alex Ovechkin has only scored one goal outside of his tally in the Leafs’ 3-2 win over the Capitals at the ACC last Thursday.