Heading to Kanata for the first time this year, the Toronto Maple Leafs have an opportunity to catch the Bruins tonight as they hope to replicate the pace and intensity of last night’s big win (7 p.m, CBC).
Despite being a back-to-back game, the Leafs will not continue their rotation on the back end and instead keep Justin Holl in the lineup in place of Igor Ozhiganov. It’s not clear if Holl has been getting more games lately due to his play or if it’s an attempt to limit Ozhiganov’s play time after he missed a number of games following the Jake Muzzin trade. It looks like he’s earning more respect from Babcock but remains to be seen if he has surpassed Ozhiganov on the depth chart. If Holl does indeed have an opportunity, he should be desperate knowing he would be the first to draw into the lineup if either Travis Dermott or Jake Gardiner are still out of the lineup come playoffs. No other lineup changes are expected and Dermott, Gardiner, and Kapanen remain out for the foreseeable future with injuries.
After a stellar game from Anders Nilsson, the Ottawa Senators shut out the St.Louis Blues on Thursday for their first win in five games. Nilsson gets the nod to start again tonight. Ottawa struggled to get scoring chances, something that has been prevalent all year, especially after their fire sale at the deadline. Nilsson kept them in the game and has performed respectably in his last three starts. He went through a tough period before that, going five starts without a Sv% over .900 and just one win. On the year, he’s kept up with his historically average numbers for a backup — with a GSAx of -2.3 and a HDSv% of .841 (27th out of 70 goalies with 500 mins in 18-19).
Game Day Quotes
On getting shots on net
Well, if you spray it off the goaltender, there’s always rebounds, there’s second chances and if you can get it back and win those retrival races you spend more time in the offensive zone; sometimes when you over-pass you pass into the track and create transition (plays) for them. It depends one what your opportunity is.
On how Andreas Johnsson compliments Auston Matthews & William Nylander
Johnny plays right, he’s got good detail; he’s quick twitch — he really jumps — he knows what he’s doing with the puck before he gets it and he’s under at the net; he’s always at the net. You need someone to be at the net. That occupies the D and that pushes the goalie back, so he has that skillset but makes plays and plays hard and comes to play most nights.
Toronto Maple Leafs Projected Lines
#18 Andreas Johnsson – #34 Auston Matthews – #29 William Nylander
#11 Zach Hyman – #91 John Tavares – #16 Mitch Marner
#12 Patrick Marleau – #43 Nazem Kadri – #28 Connor Brown
#63 Tyler Ennis – #33 Frederik Gauthier – #42 Trevor Moore
#44 Morgan Rielly – #2 Ron Hainsey
#8 Jake Muzzin – #22 Nikita Zaitsev
#52 Martin Marincin – #3 Justin Holl
#40 Garret Sparks
#31 Frederik Andersen
Injured: Jake Gardiner (back), Travis Dermott (shoulder), Kasperi Kapanen (concussion)
Scratched: Igor Ozhiganov, Nic Petan
Ottawa Senators Projected Lines
#7 Brady Tkachuk – #44 Jean-Gabriel Pageau – #14 Max Veronneau
#38 Rudolfs Balcers – #71 Chris Tierney – #56 Magnus Paajarvi
#15 Zach Smyth – #24 Oscar Lindberg – #9 Bobby Ryan
#10 Anthony Duclair – #17 Brian Gibbons – #89 Mikkel Boedker
#67 Ben Harpur – #2 Dylan Demelo
#86 Christian Wolanin – #5 Cody Ceci
#74 Mark Borowiecki – #83 Christian Jaros
#31 Anders Nilsson
#41 Craig Anderson
Injured: Thomas Chabot