Maple Leafs announce that Nick Robertson, 3 others will dress tonight

Mike Armenti
April 9, 2024  (5:20 PM)

Nick Robertson scores a big goal against his brother Jason's Dallas Stars
Photo credit: Nick Turchiaro/USA TODAY Sports

After a thrilling 3-2 OT win last night against the Pittsburgh Penguins, the Toronto Maple Leafs are back in action tonight in New Jersey, facing off against the Devils in enemy territory.

Last night's win allowed the Leafs to move to within 3 points of the Florida Panthers, with the team having 5 games remaining to Florida's 4. A win against the Devils tonight would put the Leafs just 1 point back of Florida with equal games remaining. What's more is that the Leafs actually play Florida on April 16th, just a few days before the playoffs begin. That has the potential to be a MASSIVE game for the Leafs with home ice in round 1 on the line.
With the Leafs coming into the second half of a back-to-back scenario, head coach Sheldon Keefe is opting to get some fresh legs in the lineup tonight, announcing 4 important lineup changes mere hours before puck drop in New Jersey.
The only blueline swap tonight will see Conor Timmins enter the lineup with Ilya Lyubushkin coming out. Lyubushkin, who plays a very hard game, has been banged up a bit this year, so some extra rest before the games get extra nasty is certainly worthwhile.
Up front, Keefe announced a pair of changes at forward, with Nick Robertson and Noah Gregor both drawing into the lineup against the Devils. Ryan Reaves and Conor Dewar will be in the press box tonight as a result.
Reaves has been extra physical of late and had dropped the gloves against both Tanner Jeannot and Michael Pezzetta last week, so he'll have the opportunity to heal his hands tonight. I'd be surprised if we see Reavo drop the gloves again before the playoffs, unless it occurs on April 16th against Florida, their likely round 1 opponent.
In goal, Ilya Samsonov will get a full night off tonight after playing more than 60 minutes against Pittsburgh last night, which means that Martin Jones will draw into the lineup as the backup goaltender, while Joseph Woll draws the start.
As far as how the lines and pairings will break down, the top six will remain unchanged, meaning that Tyler Bertuzzi and Max Domi will remain with Auston Matthews, and John Tavares will once again be flanked by Bobby McMann and Mitch Marner. Robertson, it appears, will be playing on the 3rd line LW with Pontus Holmberg and William Nylander, pushing Matthew Knies down to the 4th line to play with David Kampf and Noah Gregor.
On defense, T.J. Brodie, who may have played his best game of the season last night against Pittsburgh will be moving up to play on the top pair with Morgan Rielly. Timmins will slot in next to Mark Giordano on the 3rd pair, meaning that the Simon Benoit/Jake McCabe pairing remains the same.
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Maple Leafs announce that Nick Robertson, 3 others will dress tonight

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