A Leafs lineup light on star talent will kick off the first of a three-games-in-four-nights preseason series against the Montreal Canadiens tonight at the Bell Centre (7:00 p.m. EST, TSN2 & TSN4).

Game Day Quotes

Sheldon Keefe on free-agent invite Spencer Sova (an undrafted 19-year-old Erie Otters defenseman) earning a look in tonight’s lineup:

Between talking to Tre and some of the other scouts, they have really liked him in the time that he has been here. They want to see him playing in a game. I am not overly familiar with him, but I saw him out there on the ice today and in Traverse City. He is a guy who earned his way through to get a look. An exciting time for him.

Keefe on pairing Nick Robertson with David Kampf and Ryan Reaves tonight:

Gregor has been with Kampf through most of the camp, but it is a good chance for Robertson, who has moved around. He played with Tavares the other night. Previous to that, he was with Holmberg. Now, he is with Kampf.

It is a good chance for him to play in different spots and with different people. For a player like him who is trying to find a role on the team, I look at it as a good opportunity for him to show that he can be versatile and can help different lines and different linemates.

Keefe on Timothy Liljegren wearing an ‘A’ on his sweater tonight:

I think he has earned it. He has climbed his way through, and at times, there has been some adversity. To me, he has dealt with that very well. He is off to a terrific start. I thought he was outstanding the other night in St. Thomas.

I have talked to some of his teammates who are a part of the leadership group. They want to see him step up and take a greater role being that kind of “next guy” to have a voice within the leadership, too.

All of that is what we need from him and also how we feel about him.

Spencer Sova on earning his way into a preseason appearance:

I think I have been using my strengths well — my skating, my shot, and working hard every day. I am thankful they saw that in me.

It means everything. I came here to make it as far as I can. I am thankful I have gotten the opportunity, and I am going to make the most of it.

Toronto Maple Leafs Projected Lineup 

#59 Tyler Bertuzzi – #29 Pontus Holmberg – #18 Noah Gregor
#23 Matthew Knies – #39 Fraser Minten – #28 Sam Lafferty
#89 Nick Robertson – #64 David Kampf – #75 Ryan Reaves
#26 Nick Abruzzese – #15 Logan Shaw – #90 Max Ellis

#55 Mark Giordano – #37 Timothy Liljegren
#85 William Lagesson – #25 Conor Timmins
#61 Spencer Sova – #84 Mikko Kokkonen

#35 Ilya Samsonov
#80 Keith Petruzzelli

Montreal Canadiens Projected Lineup

Armia – Monahan – Anderson
Pearson – Evans – Gallagher
Roy – Beck – Ylönen
Mysak – Stephens – Parker-Jones

Harris – Mailloux
Xhekaj – Lindström
Beaudin – Barron