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Maple Leafs Get Their First Crack At Defending Western Conference Champs

Published February 7, 2018 at 2:23 PM
BY

"Toronto Maple Leafs 67 pts (31-19-5)
vs
Nashville Predators 71 pts (32-12-7)
7 p.m. ET
Air Canada Centre – Toronto, ON
TV: Sportsnet
Radio: TSN 1050 AM

Season Series/Schedule
Date Game GWG
2/7 NSH @ TOR
3/22 TOR @ NSH

Team Leaders
Maple Leafs Predators
Auston Matthews, 43 Points P.K. Subban, 41
Auston Matthews, 25 Goals Fiala/Arvidsson, 17
Jake Gardiner, 30 Assists P.K. Subban, 28

The Toronto Maple Leafs are back in action tonight as they get their first look at the defending Western Conference champions. The Nashville Predators made a great run to the Stanley Cup Final as the eight seed and picked up right where they left off last season. They enter play today two points out of first place in the Central Division and just three points behind the Vegas Knights for the top spot in the Western Conference.
Nashville is currently on a three-game winning streak and have scored five goals in each of those three games. Hopefully Frederik Andersen is feeling no effects from being kicked in the head by Corey Perry on Monday night because the Leafs will need him to be in top form against the red-hot Predators offense.
Mike Babcock will dress the same lineup we saw versus Anaheim, meaning Roman Polak will dress for the second straight game, skating on the third pairing with Travis Dermott.
The Predators have a trio of former Eastern Conference players with great track records against the Maple Leafs. Ryan Johansen has 12 points in 11 career games versus the Leafs. Kyle Turris has 21 points in 26 games including two three-point outings. P.K. Subban has 19 points in 31 career games against his hometown team.

Probable Maple Leafs Lineup
FORWARDS
Zach Hyman - Auston Matthews - William Nylander
Patrick Marleau - Nazem Kadri - Mitchell Marner
James van Riemsdyk - Tyler Bozak - Connor Brown
Leo Komarov - Dominic Moore - Kasperi Kapanen
DEFENSIVE PARINGS
Morgan Rielly - Ron Hainsey
Jake Gardiner - Nikita Zaitsev
Travis Dermott - Roman Polak
Frederik Andersen (25-15-4, 2.66 GAA, .921 save %, 4 SO)
INJURY REPORT
LW-Joffrey Lupul (sports hernia) out, RW-Nikita Soshnikov (lower-body) out

Probable Predators Lineup
FORWARDS
Colton Sissons - Ryan Johansen - Viktor Arvidsson
Kevin Fiala - Kyle Turris - Craig Smith
Scott Hartnell - Nick Bonino - Calle Jarnkrok
Miikka Salomaki - Austin Watson - Pontus Aberg
DEFENSIVE PAIRINGS
Roman Josi - Ryan Ellis
Mattias Ekholm - P.K. Subban
Alexei Emelin - Yannick Weber
GOALTENDER
Pekka Rinne (27-8-3, 2.32 GAA, .926 save %, 5 SO)
INJURY REPORT
None"



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