Toronto Maple Leafs (35-24-15, 15th in NHL) vs. Florida Panthers (33-31-11, 22nd in NHL)

Puck drop: 7:30 p.m. EST
Arena: Air Canada Centre
Watch: TSN4


Game Day Notes

– In an attempt to get a sense of how the Leafs have bounced back from “bad losses” so far this season, here is a list of games where the Leafs lost and the game was out of reach before any empty netters factored into the equation:

LossGame After
5-2 vs. BUF?
7-2 vs. FLA5-0 win vs. TB
5-2 vs. ANA3-2 win vs. DET
5-2 vs. CLB6-3 loss vs. Ott (two EN)
6-3 vs. DAL5-1 loss vs. STL
3-0 vs. CGY3-2 SO loss vs. VAN
4-1 vs. PIT6-2 win vs. NAS
7-0 vs. LA6-3 win vs. PHI
5-1 vs. NYI3-2 win vs. EDM
7-3 vs. TB3-2 win vs. FLA

Nine of the 10 games above were losses by three or more goals not including any empty netters. The one exception is the Anaheim loss, which was a 4-2 game prior to Patrick Eaves’ empty net goal. I included it above because, a) the win wasn’t really in doubt for Anaheim, b) it capped off a winless California road trip for the Leafs, c) after returning home, they won their first game back and went on a big 7-1-1 run.

Overall, the Leafs are 6-2-1 following “bad losses.” The 6-3 loss to Ottawa involved two empty net goals late, while the Vancouver loss came in a shootout after the Leafs dominated the game and outshot the Canucks 40-24. Essentially, the Leafs only allowed a “bad loss” to snowball into the next game once — when they were blown out in back-to-back games versus Dallas and St. Louis.

The Leafs were blown out by Florida in their most recent meeting, but as seen above they’ve also bounced back from a bad loss (to the Lightning) with a win over the Panthers this season.

The Leafs should also benefit from the rest factor, as they got a full practice day in yesterday while the Panthers played last night in Buffalo.

Curtis McElhinney played a role in that blowout loss to Florida as he entered the game with his team down 3-1 after the first intermission and gave up four goals on 24 shots in the final two periods. McElhinney has lost all three starts against the Panthers over his career, allowing ten goals on 87 shots (.885 save percentage).

At the other end of the ice, James Reimer has been on both sides of Leafs vs. Panthers blowouts this season, allowing six goals in a November loss at the ACC before stopping 28 of 30 against the Leafs in Florida’s 7-2 win on March 14.

– The Leafs will get Roman Polak back from suspension — the Leafs penalty kill went only three for six without him — while Kasperi Kapanen will make his season debut on the fourth line with Brian Boyle and Matt Martin.

The Leafs’ fourth line was under 30% possession against the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday with Ben Smith stepping in for the injured Josh Leivo and Nikita Soshnikov. While he’s not as gritty as Soshnikov, Kapanen offers more in the way of skill, he’s a right shot, and he will be looking to bring some similar elements to the line between his speed, shot, and penalty killing ability.

– The Leafs enter Tuesday’s games one point up on Boston and two up on Tampa Bay with a game in hand on both. Tonight, the Bruins host a tired Predators team that is coming off of a win over the Islanders on Monday.


Matchup Stats

Statistics courtesy of SportingCharts.com

StatFlaTor
Points7785
Record %0.520.574
Home Winning %0.4710.625
Away Winning %0.50.514
Shootout Winning %0.4550.111
Goal Differential Per Game-0.20.2
Shot Differential Per Game0.91-0.65
Hits Per Game20.724
PIM Per Game109.8
Opponent PIM Per Game9.89.8
Goals Per Game2.543.05
Even Strength Goals Per Game1.912.28
Power Play Goals Per Game0.540.7
Shots Per Game32.532.2
Shots Per Goal12.810.6
Team Shooting %0.0780.095
Power Play %0.1650.237
Goals Against Per Game2.742.85
ES Goals Against Per Game2.232.24
PP Goals Against Per Game0.420.54
Shots Against Per Game31.6132.89
Shots Against Per Goal11.5211.54
Opp. Team Shooting %0.0870.087
Penalty Kill %0.8610.825
Save %0.9130.913
Goals Against Average2.692.81
Shutouts25
Opponent Save %0.9220.905
Opponent Goals Against Average2.493.01
Opponent Shutouts42

Toronto Maple Leafs Projected Lines

Forwards

Leo Komarov – Nazem Kadri – Connor Brown
Zach Hyman – Auston Matthews – William Nylander
James van Riemsdyk – Tyler Bozak – Mitch Marner
Matt Martin – Brian Boyle – Kasperi Kapanen

Defencemen

Morgan Rielly – Connor Carrick
Jake Gardiner – Nikita Zaitsev
Matt Hunwick – Roman Polak

Goaltenders

Starter: Curtis McElhinney (6-6-2, 2.61, 0.921)
Backup: Garret Sparks

Injured: Eric Fehr, Nikita Soshnikov, Josh Leivo, Frederik Andersen
Scratched: Martin Marincin


Florida Panthers Projected Lines

Forwards

Jonathan Huberdeau – Aleksander Barkov – Jaromir Jagr
Jussi Jokinen – Vincent Trocheck – Reilly Smith
Thomas Vanek – Nick Bjugstad – Jonathan Marchessault
Shawn Thornton – Derek MacKenzie – Colton Sceviour

Defencemen

Keith Yandle – Jason Demers
Michael Matheson – Alex Petrovic
Mark Pysyk – Jakub Kindl

Goaltenders

Starter: James Reimer (16-15-5, 2.58, 0.917)
Backup: Reto Berra

Scratched: Michael Sgarbossa
Injured: Roberto Luongo, Denis Malgin, Aaron Ekblad 


Who’s Hot

  • Jonathan Huberdeau: seven points (two goals, five assists) during three-game point streak
  • Jonathan Marchessault: six goals during three-game point streak
  • William Nylander: 13 points (four goals, nine assists) during 11-game point streak
  • Auston Matthews: six points (three goals, three assists) during five-game point streak

Morning Skate: Babcock, Andersen, Rielly, Gardiner, Kapanen