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Photo Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

LGD: Coming Soon To A Playoff Round Near You

It’s Game Day!

Tonight, the Leafs (33-19-5) take on the Tampa Bay Lightning (38-14-3) for the second time this season. It’s a tight race to the finish between the Lightning and the Bruins, who are battling for the privilege of taking on our golden boys from Toronto in the first round of the playoffs.

Frankly, the Leafs are sitting extremely pretty right now, up a whopping 18 points on the fourth place Detroit Red Wings for the final Atlantic Division playoff spot. A higher seed is still within range, but they’re pretty firmly planted exactly where they currently stand.

Tonight, however, they’ll look to even the score against the Lightning, and also look for their first goal of the season against a team that shut them out 2-0 at the ACC when last they met. This could be a playoff preview here, folks.

Leafs Lines

DEFENSIVE PAIRINGS
Morgan Rielly
MORGAN RIELLY
Ron Hainsey
RON HAINSEY
Jake Gardiner
JAKE GARDINER
Nikita Zaitsev
NIKITA ZAITSEV
Travis Dermott
TRAVIS DERMOTT
Roman Polak
ROMAN POLAK

Roman Polak is back in on the third pairing, while the rest of the lineup remains the same. The second line had a monster of a game on Saturday, with Patrick Marleau and Nazem Kadri each scoring once while Mitch Marner put up five points. They’ll need all the help they can get tonight against an extremely deep Tampa team.

Lightning Lines

LW C RW
Yanni Gourde
YANNI GOURDE
Steven Stamkos
STEVEN STAMKOS
Tyler Johnson
TYLER JOHNSON
Alex Killorn
ALEX KILLORN
Brayden Point
BRAYDEN POINT
Nikita Kucherov
NIKITA KUCHEROV
Cory Conacher
CORY CONACHER
Vladislav Namestnikov
VLADISLAV NAMESTNIKOV
Adam Erne
ADAM ERNE
Chris Kunitz
CHRIS KUNITZ
Cedric Paquette
CEDRIC PAQUETTE
Ryan Callahan
RYAN CALLAHAN

Stamkos and Kucherov are skating on separate lines this time around, but realistically we know that just means double the threat. Kucherov is sitting at a nice 69 points on the season and will be in the hunt for his 30th goal of the season tonight.

Starting Goalies

Andrei Vasilevskiy and his face

VS

Freddy Andersen and his .921 sv% and general perfection.

In all seriousness, this could shape up to be another great goaltending battle akin to the first meeting between these two earlier this season. Buckle up!

Notes

  • Mitch Marner has four goals in his last four games. His shooting percentage is coming back to earth, finally, and he’s actually shooting the puck these days. Good times.
  • Tampa are 7-3-0 in their last ten, while the Leafs are 8-2-0, strangely coinciding with when they began optimizing their lineup. This could be a legitimate battle between two juggernaut teams.

Puck Drop is at 7pm ET. Catch the game on TSN4.

LGD BROUGHT TO YOU BY THE PINT

Pint LGD

Make the Pint your home for all things game day. We give away a free pound of wings during every game either home or away. 4.40$ mugs of Bud and Bud Lights.

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  • lukewarmwater

    Hopefully the platinum blonde, sushi eating, cabernet sauvignon, selfie taking crowd can get behind the team and fire up the team in the barn the way the wild and crazy Raptor fans do for THE FIRST PLACE RAPTORS OF THE EASTERN CONFERENCE. Sorry for being LOUD, but fake news has creeped into the sports world as most of the U.S. sports networks don’t realise that the Raps are numero uno. The leafs, the richer cousins of the Raps are indeed heading in the same direction. A win tonight would continue to show the league how strong the leafs have become in only their actual second year of rebuilding the team. Go leafs Go.