Coming off one of their best games of the season, a 3-0 win at Philadelphia, the Toronto Maple Leafs are set for a home date with the Calgary Flames. Naturally, there are not a lot of changes to be made to the Maple Leafs lineup, but there is still one significant change. It looks like captain John Tavares should be back in after missing the Philadelphia game.
The Maple Leafs are 8-5-1, good for second place in the Atlantic Division.
Kirill Semyonov, who made his NHL debut at Philadelphia, will be a healthy scratch.
Tavares’ return means that Nick Ritchie will slide down to the fourth line but if he plays like he did in Philadelphia, there is a path to this fourth line being real contributors. Spezza and Simmonds have been creating chances. If Ritchie is playing well that line could be much better than a standard fourth line.
Travis Dermott is going to be the healthy scratch on defence for a second straight game.
Fresh off a 36-save shutout in Philadelphia, Jack Campbell will get the start in goal for Toronto. He has a .936 save percentage in 12 appearances for the Maple Leafs this season.
John Tavares, William Nylander, and Mitch Marner are tied for the Maple Leafs scoring lead with 13 points.
Bunting – Matthews – Nylander
Kerfoot – Tavares – Marner
Engvall – Kampf – Anderson
Ritchie – Spezza – Simmonds
Rielly – Brodie
Muzzin – Holl
Sandin – Liljegren
The Calgary Flames dropped a 4-2 decision at Montreal Thursday, dropping their record to 7-3-3. They are in third place in the Pacific Division, though they have played two fewer games than the Anaheim Ducks, a team that is two points ahead in the standings.
Since their six-game winning streak, the Flames have one win in the past five games.
Depth is the key to the Flames attack. They have 11 players with at least five points this season. Toronto has eight. Elias Lindholm and Johnny Gaudreau are tied for the Flames scoring lead with 14 points.
The Flames have received strong play from mobile puck-moving defenceman Oliver Kylington. They also have a third pairing of Nikita Zadorov and Erik Gudbranson that can play a physical game but will have trouble defending speedy forwards.
With the Flames having played last night, they might turn to Daniel Vladar in goal. Vladar has started just two games so far this season.
Here are expected lines for the Calgary Flames on Friday:
Gaudreau – Lindholm – Tkachuk
Coleman – Monahan – Mangiapane
Dube – Backlund – Lewis
Lucic – Richardson – Pitlick
Hanifin – Andersson
Kylington – Tanev
Zadorov – Gudbranson
Watch on TSN and listen on TSN 1050 in Toronto.
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