This is the 4th and final meeting of the 2018-2019 regular season between the Boston Bruins and the Toronto Maple Leafs. The teams have split the series with the Bruins having the one-game advantage at 2-1.
The Leafs are 2 games ahead of the Bruins in the standings and 4 ROW with a game in hand, so a Bruins victory would be a nice help to catching up to their rival in the standings.
So what do the lines look like?
Charlie McAvoy, who had been skating with Steve Kampfer in practices, was questionable to play due to lingering effects of an infected cut on his foot appears to be on the roster, pushing out John Moore — who has been quite solid, but did leave a Caps forward unguarded in the neutral zone, leading to a go-ahead score last game.
Joakim Nordstrom is still out with a cracked fibula.
Tuukka will start in goal tonight – which feels good to me as he has been the better ‘tender as of late.
|Bruins Forward Lines|
|Bruins Defensive pairs|
|#40 Tuukka Rask||(#41 Jaroslav Halak)|
As far as the Toronto status, Toronto is slightly ahead of Boston in the standings, with a record of 28-13-2 for 58 points and 2nd place in the conference. They have been suffering a goaltending shortage lately, putting them at 3-3 over their last six games, compared to the Bruins 5-1. They have been putting up goals at an impressive rate, good enough for 3rd in the league for goals scored, and in spite of some questionable defense, have only allowed 5 more goals against than the Bruins.
Goaltender Frederik Andersen, who has just recovered from a groin injury, is out with the flu, so the Leafs called up UMD alumnus Kasimir Kaskisuo from the Marlies. Backup Garret Sparks is in the concussion protocol so Michael Hutchinson (who you may remember from the Bruins prospect pool, or more recently from the Winnipeg Jets) had also been called up on January 3rd, and has started the last 4 Leafs games. Of the 4 goalies in the stable, Hutch is the one who I most fear developing “hot goalie syndrome”.
Forward Tyler Ennis is also out with a broken ankle suffered in December.
(h/t Daily Faceoff and TSN beat writer Kristen Shilton):
Maple Leafs Forwards
#11 Zach Hyman — #91 John Tavares — #16 Mitch Marner
#18 Andreas Johnsson — #34 Auston Matthews — #24 Kasperi Kapanen
#12 Patrick Marleau — #43 Nazem Kadri — #29 William Nylander
#26 Par Lindholm — #33 Frederik Gauthier — #28 Connor Brown
Maple Leafs Defense
#44 Morgan Rielly — #2 Ron Hainsey
#51 Jake Gardiner — #22 Nikita Zaitsev
#23 Travis Dermott — #92 Igor Ozhiganov
Maple Leafs Goaltending
#31 Frederik Andersen
#40 Garret Sparks
#30 Michael Hutchinson
#50 Kasimir Kaskisuo