The Toronto Maple Leafs will try to rebound from Saturday’s loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins when they visit the New York Islanders Sunday.
Toronto is 12-6-1, in second place in the Atlantic Division.
It does not look like the Maple Leafs are going to have different lines going to face the Islanders, but they need some better results. For a team with this kind of offensive firepower, the Maple Leafs are struggling to score during 5-on-5 play.
Might Travis Dermott get back into the lineup? He has been rotating into the third pair recently.
Joseph Woll will be making his second NHL start. He won 5-4 in his debut at Buffalo. The Maple Leafs did not play particularly well in front of him that night, especially defensively.
John Tavares (8 G, 8 A) and William Nylander (7 G, 9 A) are tied for the Maple Leafs’ scoring lead through 19 games.
Ritchie – Matthews – Marner
Kerfoot – Tavares – Nylander
Engvall – Kampf – Kase
Bunting – Spezza – Simmonds
Rielly – Brodie
Muzzin – Holl
Sandin – Liljegren
New York Islanders
The New York Islanders have lost five straight games, getting outscored 24-6 in the process. The most recent of those losses was Saturday’s 5-2 loss against Calgary in the first game at UBS Arena.
The biggest issue for the Islanders right now is that their lineup has been hit hard by players going into Covid protocol.
Defenceman Ryan Pulock is out for the next month due to a lower-body injury. Left wingers Anders Lee, Anthony Beauvillier and Ross Johnston, right winger Josh Bailey, and defencemen Adam Pelech and Andy Greene all missed Saturday’s game against Calgary due to Covid protocols. If they are not available for Sunday, those are significant absences from the lineup.
As a result, the New York Islanders have plugged forwards Kieffer Bellows, Richard Panik, and Andy Andreoff, as well as defencemen Robin Salo, Sebastian Aho, and Grant Hutton into the lineup.
Brock Nelson leads the Islanders with 11 points (9 G, 2 A) in 14 games.
Here are expected lines for the New York Islanders on Sunday:
Bellows – Barzal – Parise
Andreoff – Nelson – Wahlstrom
Panik – Pageau – Palmieri
Martin – Cizikas – Clutterbuck
Chara – Dobson
Salo – Mayfield
Aho – Hutton
Toronto -120 at New York Islanders
The Islanders had a tough start to the season, playing 13 games on the road before Saturday’s loss to Calgary in their home arena. But adding half a dozen Covid-related absences to the lineup leaves them in a really tough spot. Even with Toronto starting Woll, who has not yet shown that he is legitimately NHL ready, the Leafs should have the edge against the decimated Islanders. With Woll in net, it’s also worth giving the over a look. Considering the trouble that the Leafs have had scoring, taking on a team missing its top defensive pair is a favourable matchup.
Watch on TSN and listen on Sportsnet 590 The Fan in Toronto.
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