The Maple Leafs are looking to escape with a split of their four-game west coast trip when they pay their annual visit to Climate Pledge Arena in Seattle (9:00 p.m. EST, Sportsnet Ontario).

The Leafs are tired coming off of an emotional rollercoaster loss to the Canucks and the Kraken are on two days of rest, but Seattle is a loser of three straight and is without two of their top three centermen, Yanni Gourde (suspended) and Matty Beniers (injured), while a good chunk of their lineup deals with a flu bug.

We all know how this works by now with this Leafs team at this stage of the Shanaplan era. A loss tonight, bringing the Leafs to 1-5-1 in their last seven, would mean the Leafs are greeted back home by a Toronto market in a boiling rage as the fan base calls for coaching and roster changes. A victory tonight takes the edge off for the time being.

Conor Timmins will enter the lineup in place of Mark Giordano, Nick Robertson will enter in place of Bobby McMann, and Ilya Samsonov will start in goal.

Just win.

Game Day Quotes

Kraken head coach Dave Hakstol on the injuries and illnesses affecting his lineup:

A few guys stayed out of the rink even yesterday as we try to work toward full health. We will have that in mind as we settle on a final lineup for tonight. We are working to get as much energy and as many healthy bodies into the lineup as we possibly can.

We have to pay attention to the things we can control. We can’t control the sickness and the illness and whether guys are injured and unavailable. We control some of the detail of our game. We are going to have to elevate that with every guy who is available. We have to get our detail back and make sure our competitiveness level is at a really high stage.

Sheldon Keefe on the challenge of managing energy levels in a back-to-back situation:

Just being resilient, and convincing yourself that you are not tired and you have lots of reasons to push through. Last night was an emotional game that required a lot of emotion and energy, especially when turning the game in the second period. It was not an easy game to play last night.

Rather than looking at it as any sort of fatigue, let’s look at it as we had to get to a higher level to compete in that game. Let’s carry that forward to tonight.

Keefe on Ilya Samsonov’s readiness for tonight’s game:

To me, he has been stacking good days and has been hungry to get back in the net, which is what I have been wanting to see. When he was not feeling as confident in the net, you could see it in the practices. When that is the case, he almost looks like a goalie who doesn’t really want the net. He has been hungry for the net on this entire trip here. That has been good to see.

We have had discussions daily about when is the right time to get him back in. We’ve been sticking with Jonesy to this point, but Sammy has been eager to get back in there.

Keefe on the keys to improving a struggling penalty kill:

The overriding theme is just extending too far away from our net. It opens up seams and spaces in those decisions. We need to be able to extend from the net to apply pressure on loose pucks, try to disrupt, and get some clears out of your zone, but the recovery of getting back in and the reads on when not to extend too far are where we need to continue to improve.

Keep things to the perimeter, give our goalies an easier task, and that is really it. On our first PK to start the third period — and not just because we scored — was really well done. And then you add the second and third right on top of it while using the same people — it is a lot, but we can manage it a lot better by staying home a little bit.

Keefe on the keys to improving the power play:

Execution has been off. When execution is off and passing is off, entries aren’t as clean. You don’t spend as much time in the offensive zone and don’t put as much wear and tear on the opposition. That is really it.

At four-on-three, we did a tremendous job in Calgary. We really liked that. At five-on-four, we have to do a better job for sure.

Head-to-Head Stats: Maple Leafs vs. Kraken

In the season-to-date statistics, the Leafs hold the advantage over the Kraken in five out of five offensive categories but the Kraken hold the advantage in five out of five defensive categories.

Toronto Maple Leafs Projected Lines

#23 Matthew Knies – #34 Auston Matthews – #16 Mitch Marner
#59 Tyler Bertuzzi – #91 John Tavares – #88 William Nylander
#89 Nick Robertson – #11 Max Domi – #19 Calle Jarnkrok
#29 Pontus Holmberg  – #64 David Kampf – #18 Noah Gregor

#44 Morgan Rielly – #78 TJ Brodie
#22 Jake McCabe – #37 Timothy Liljegren
#2 Simon Benoit – #25 Conor Timmins

Starter: #35 Ilya Samsonov
#31 Martin Jones

Scratched: Mark Giordano, William Lagesson, Bobby McMann, Ryan Reaves
Injured: John Klingberg, Joseph Woll

Seattle Kraken Projected Lines

#90 Tomas Tatar – #19 Jared McCann – #7 Jordan Eberle
#20 Eeli Tolvanen – #21 Alex Wennberg – #22 Oliver Bjorkstrand
#17 Jaden Schwartz – #52 Tye Kartye – #95 Andre Burakovsky
#15 John Hayden – #94 Devin Shore – #13 Brandon Tanev

#39 Ryker Evans – #6 Adam Larsson
#24 Jamie Oleksiak – #3 William Borgen
#8 Brian Dumoulin – #4 Justin Schultz

Starter: #35 Joey Daccord
#60 Chris Driedger

Injured/Out: Vince Dunn, Pierre-Edouard Bellemare, Philipp Grubauer, Matty Beniers, Yanni Gourde