The Toronto Maple Leafs will be without right winger Mitch Marner, defenceman Rasmus Sandin, and centre Jason Spezza as they host the Columbus Blue Jackets Tuesday, which means two players have been promoted from the Toronto Marlies of the American Hockey League.
Marner and Sandin have landed on injured reserve while Spezza is having a hearing with the NHL Department of Player Safety Tuesday for a nasty hit that he delivered to Jets defenceman Neal Pionk.
Two NHL Debuts!
Alex Steeves, who has 12 points (7 G, 5 A) and 43 shots on goal for the Toronto Marlies in the American Hockey League, will play right wing for the Leafs.
Steeves, who turns 22 Friday, was signed in the offseason as a free agent out of the University of Notre Dame. He had 32 points (15 G, 17 A) in 29 games for the Fighting Irish last season.
Travis Dermott is also hurting on the Maple Leafs blueline, so the Leafs have called up Kristians Rubins from the Marlies.
Rubins turns 24 on Saturday and has played 100 AHL games for the Marlies. He also played for the Newfoundland Growlers of the ECHL after playing a couple of junior seasons for the Medicine Hat Tigers of the Western Hockey League. Listed at 6-foot-5, 221 pounds, Rubins had four points (1 G, 3 A) in 16 games for the Marlies this season.
Jack Campbell will start for Toronto, returning to the net after Joseph Woll started Sunday’s loss in Winnipeg.
Captain John Tavares leads the Maple Leafs in scoring with 26 points (11 G, 15 A) in 25 games. Auston Matthews leads the Leafs with 15 goals in 23 games.
Toronto enters Tuesday’s contest with a 17-7-2 record, good for 36 points in 26 games. That has them in second place in the Atlantic Division, one point behind the Florida Panthers, though the Panthers have also played two fewer games.
Here is the expected lineup for the Maple Leafs vs. Columbus:
Bunting – Matthews – Simmonds
Kerfoot – Tavares – Nylander
Ritchie – Kampf – Kase
Clifford – Engvall – Steeves
Rielly – Brodie
Muzzin – Holl
Rubins – Liljegren
Columbus Blue Jackets
The Columbus Blue Jackets downed the San Jose Sharks 6-4 Sunday, snapping a four-game losing streak.
Boone Jenner leads the Blue Jackets with 11 goals, including five on the power play. Jakub Voracek and Oliver Bjorkstrand are tied for the team lead with 19 points in 23 games.
The Blue Jackets are 13-10, which puts them in fifth place in the Metropolitan Division,. That leaves them three points behind the Pittsburgh Penguins, though the Blue Jackets have played two fewer games.
Here are expected lines for the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday:
Nyquist – Jenner – Bjorkstrand
Domi – Roslovic – Voracek
Hofmann – Sillinger – Danforth
Robinson – Kuraly – Texier
Werenski – Bean
Gavrikov – Peeke
Carlsson – Boqvist
Watch on TSN and listen on Sportsnet 590 The Fan in Toronto.