Puck Drop: 7:00 p.m.  |  Arena: Air Canada Centre  |  TV: SN Ontario  |  Radio: TSN 1050

Game Day Quotes

Mike Babcock on the Stars’ talent, particularly the Benn-Seguin-Radulov line:

I mean, obviously real good. All you’ve got to do is look at the standings. They’re two points up on a playoff spot, they’ll be a desperate team, and they’re going to play hard. You know, they play tight, they don’t give up a lot. They gave up on the penalty kill last night, but normally they’re in the top four in the league. So there’s not going to be a lot of time or space — and the big guys, they score, they flat out have talent, and they’re big bodies that are hard to handle around your net. So It’ll be good test for us here tonight.

Ron Hainsey on what keeps the team motivated with the playoff seeding all but decided:

The standings – there is a little bit of space there. Having said that, going out any night in this league, especially a little more in Toronto, you don’t want to go out there at home and give an embarrassing effort. We played Pittsburgh on Saturday and that’s a team that can make you look bad in a hurry. This [Dallas] team here tonight knows how to put the puck in the net and is well-coached. They can make you look bad in a hurry. If the fear of being embarrassed out there in this building and not playing well on a night-to-night basis isn’t enough, I don’t know what is.

We’d like to… Obviously, we’ve a little bit lost touch here with Boston and Tampa with the games in hand here. They’re escaping from probably being chased down at this point, realistically, with 12-13 games to go for everybody. That doesn’t mean we won’t continue to try to put up as many points on the board. We think we’re a good enough team to kind of get up in that 100-point neighbourhood that is always kind of a nice benchmark for teams. We’ll try to keep chasing that.

Babcock on the benefits of recent breaks in the schedule:

The rest has been unbelievable — for our goaltender and for our team in general just to get re-energized. We’re set up pretty good now here. We’ve just got to get to work and use our depth the best we possibly can. But you want to be playing good. You want to be playing right. You want to be feeling good. That’s what we’ve tried to do with our practices and our games — we’ve tried to play at a pace that we think we can play at that is very high.

Babcock on what he’ll say to Andreas Johnsson before his first game, and if he could be a full-timer next year:

Nothing I’m going to tell you guys. We’ll have a few laughs with him today to say the least. You know, just get out there and enjoy it. You spend your whole life dreaming of this. Dreams do come true if you work hard enough. If you have enough passion, they can come true. Here’s an opportunity for him. In saying that, loose and drivin’. There’s no sense being uptight. Get out there and do what you do. You got here because you have something. We must have seen something enough times that we wanted you to come here. We’ll look at him and see what he does. But, enjoy the day, enjoy the national anthem, enjoy skating around.  You’re wearing a Leaf uniform.

I think [he could be] for sure but — in saying all that — our job is to find more players. That’s the beauty of hockey — the truth today isn’t the truth tomorrow. You get someone better, then you get someone better. That’s just the way it is.

Babcock on how the Nylander line handled Malkin’s line on Saturday:

They didn’t get scored against. I thought they checked well. They were above the puck, I thought they worked hard. I thought they did a good job in the faceoff circle. They maybe didn’t roam around in the offensive zone as much, but neither did Malkin’s line. When you look at the stats before the game, it’s simple. If you can saw off guys that can score more than you, you’ve done your part for the night. A lot of time that’s what [the media] is talking about with Naz and stuff,  I don’t even look at that. Did we win the matchup or not? If we win the matchup, it gives us a chance to win the game.

Hainsey on the challenge presented by the Stars:

I got to catch a little bit of their game last night – not the whole thing, but a lot of it. I mean, they’re playing very well. Last night, the team got into a little penalty trouble and that can happen to anybody. We’ll expect their very best tonight, whether they played last night or not. We’re coming off of an extended layoff with one game in eight or nine days. Our focus will be to be ready right off the start. We are expecting them to be.

We know how they play. They’re a very good team. They play solid. They gave up three power play goals last night, but this team doesn’t give up very much. This team is very well coached. I had Hitch, obviously, years ago. They know what they’re doing. We’re expecting a real tough challenge here tonight.

Matchup Stats

GF/g3.22 (6th)2.80 (19th)
GA/g2.83 (12th)2.60 (4th)
PP%21.8% (6th)
19.9% (21st)
PK%82.7% (6th)82.4% (9th)
Shots/g31.8 (16th)31.6 (19th)
Shots Against/g34.0 (28th)29.7 (3rd)
5v5 CF%49.4% (18th)51.5% (8th)
5v5 SV%.927 (8th).927 (9th)
5v5 SH%9.2% (2nd)7.5% (17th)

Toronto Maple Leafs Projected Lineup

Marleau – Kadri – Komarov
(69-21-16-37) – (67-26-21-47) – (69-7-12-19) Total: 54
Hyman – Nylander – Marner
  (69-13-21-34) – (69-14-36-50) – (69-19-37-56) Total: 46
Van Riemsdyk – Bozak – Brown
  (68-26-15-41) – (68-10-24-34) – (69-12-11-23)  Total: 48
Johnsson – Plekanec – Kapanen
 (0-0-0-0) – (65-6-18-24) – (23-5-2-7)  Total: 11

Rielly – Hainsey
 (63-6-35-41) – (67-4-18-22) Total: 10
Gardiner – Polak
 (69-4-36-40) – (42-2-8-10) Total: 6
Dermott – Carrick
(26-1-8-9) – (40-3-5-8) Total: 4

Andersen (.919 sv%)
McElhinney (.931 sv%)

Scratched: Martin, Moore, Leivo,
Injured: Matthews, Zaitsev (flu)

Dallas Stars Projected Lineup

Benn – Seguin – Radulov
  (70-24-37-61) – (70-36-29-65) – (70-25-36-61) Total: 85
Roussel – Faksa – Pitlick
(61-5-11-16) – (67-13-15-28) – (68-13-9-22) Total: 31
Shore – Dickinson – Janmark
  (70-9-18-27) – (20-0-1-1) – (69-17-15-32) Total: 26
Elie – Spezza – Ritchie
 (62-5-8-13) – (69-7-18-25) – (61-5-7-12) Total: 17

Lindell – Klingberg
 (68-6-18-24) – (70-7-50-57) Total: 13
Methot – Johns
 (28-0-1-1) – (67-8-6-14) Total: 8
Hamhuis – Pateryn
 (68-3-18-21) – (61-1-10-11) Total: 4

Lehtonen (.918 sv%)
McKenna (NA)

Injured: Bishop, Hanzal