Over 10 years since he was traded from Toronto to Philadelphia by Brian Burke in exchange for James van Riemsdyk, Luke Schenn makes his return to the Maple Leafs’ blue line tonight in Calgary (9 p.m. EST, TSN4 & SN West).

The Leafs are looking for a response coming off of one of their worst losses of the season last night in Edmonton. Their 1.14 expected goals total was their worst offensive effort of the season by that metric at five-on-five, and they were also leaky defensively in front of a struggling Ilya Samsonov. They will need to dig deep to better support Joseph Woll as the tired team on the road against a rested Flames team that is struggling but desperate to keep themselves in the Western Conference playoff race.

Sheldon Keefe is bringing in fresh legs in the form of new recruits on the backed, where both Schenn and Erik Gustafsson are both expected to play in an 11-forward, 7-defensemen setup with Timothy Liljegren making way on the blue line and Zach Aston-Reese taking a seat up front. We’ll see how the decision to run 11/7 fares in the second game of a back-to-back in which the Leafs will need their depth lines to keep the energy levels up throughout the 60 minutes.

Liljegren took a hard spill into the boards last night in Edmonton, but Sheldon Keefe mentioned today that the decision wasn’t so much injury related. That might give us a first inkling of where things stand in terms of the current numbers game and who could be the odd man out of the lineup at playoff time, but no doubt, it’s premature to assume anything at this stage. It will be a healthy competition down the stretch between Justin Holl, Liljegren, Schenn, and Gustafsson — not to mention Conor Timmins — should all of them stick around past 3 p.m. tomorrow.

In the first game of the season series in Toronto, the Leafs caught the Flames tired on the road and erased a one-goal lead on three separate occasions before winning 5-4 in overtime. Three of their goals came on the power play, prompting Flames head coach Darryl Sutter to make some bizarre comments about biased officiating in Toronto.

Head to Head: Flames vs. Leafs

In the season-to-date statistics, the Leafs hold the advantage over the Flames in four out of five offensive categories and three out of five defensive categories.

Game Day Quotes

Sheldon Keefe on the challenge the Flames present:

I would expect more of what we saw against Boston the other night. They are playing hard. Boston comes in on a back-to-back themselves and were on their heels most of the night.

It is a team with lots of depth, pace, and physicality. They shoot the puck a ton. We are expecting more of the same of that. We have to contend with that, be ready, play through it, weather the storm a little bit, and look to establish our game.

Keefe on the decision to sit Timothy Liljegren and insert both Erik Gustafsson and Luke Schenn into the lineup:

It was really that I wanted to get those two guys in. The fact that it got shaken up a little is another reason on the back-to-back to give him the day, but it is not an injury situation. It is more wanting to get those two guys in.

These are two veteran guys — guys who have moved around in their careers. We have seven guys today. We will be able to spread the minutes around and look at some different things there.

Keefe on the challenges and benefits involved in running 11 forwards and seven defensemen:

Just managing the bench and getting everybody involved.

It is a unique circumstance here, obviously. We have two guys who are coming in new and fresh. It is a back-to-back. There were a lot of miles on our defense last night. For the most part, it was kind of an off night for our forwards. We weren’t on offense very much.

The defense can share the minutes, and from here on forward, we should have lots of legs. It gives me an opportunity to try some different things and get our best people out on the ice more frequently.

Keefe on his early impressions of Gustafsson and Schenn:

Both guys seem really excited. In both cases, both guys were significant parts of their teams and were playing big roles — Schenn on the leadership side of it, and Gustafsson was playing big minutes and running the power play. Both guys were thriving in their roles, but they are still excited to come and help our team and add to our depth.

Both guys seem to be really high character in terms of their personalities and will mesh well with the group.

Keefe on Justin Holl’s performance in Edmonton:

I thought he was really good. He made two big hits that made an impact in the game. He got in a fight. I thought he moved the puck well. It was a good day for him.

It’s no secret that Hollsy sat out recently, and then we add depth and experience on the backend. Part of what you are trying to do is to get the best from everybody and recognize there is competition here. Justin responded well yesterday.

Nazem Kadri on the importance of the game for the Flames:

It is a game we need. We are going to be prepared and ready to go. Hopefully, we can hop on them early. It is a game we need to win.

We have to stay alive. We are on the ropes. We’ve got to win some games.

Toronto Maple Leafs Projected Lines

#58 Michael Bunting – #34 Auston Matthews – #16 Mitch Marner
#19 Calle Järnkrok – #91 John Tavares – #88 William Nylander
#15 Alex Kerfoot – #90 Ryan O’Reilly – #28 Sam Lafferty
#64 David Kämpf – #52 Noel Acciari

#22 Jake McCabe – #78 TJ Brodie
#44 Morgan Rielly – #2 Luke Schenn
#55 Mark Giordano – #3 Justin Holl
#56 Erik Gustafsson

Starter: #60 Joseph Woll
#34 Ilya Samsonov

Extras: Zach Aston-Reese, Timothy Liljegren, Conor Timmins
Matt Murray, Nick Robertson, Jake Muzzin, Victor Mete

Calgary Flames Projected Lines

#29 Dillon Dube – #28 Elias Lindholm – #73 Tyler Toffoli
#49 Jakob Pelletier – #91 Nazem Kadri – #10 Jonathan Huberdeau
#88 Andrew Mangiapane – #11 Mikael Backlund – #20 Blake Coleman
#17 Milan Lucic – #22 Trevor Lewis – #71 Walker Duehr

#4 Rasmus Andersson – #52 Mackenzie Weegar
#8 Chris Tanev – #55 Noah Hanifin
#16 Nikita Zadorov – #48 Dennis Gilbert

Starter: #25 Jacob Markstrom
#80 Daniel Vladar

Injured/Out: Oliver Kylington