The Toronto Maple Leafs got back on the winning track Tuesday against Columbus and are going to keep the same lineup for Thursday’s game against the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Jack Campbell will start in net again for Toronto. Aside from back-to-back situations, Campbell is getting the starts for Toronto. Petr Mrazek is nearing a return from his lower-body injury, which could ease Campbell’s workload.
Auston Matthews leads the Leafs with 17 goals and 28 points in 24 games.
Toronto enters Thursday’s game with a 18-7-2 record, good for 38 points in 27 games. That has them tied with the Florida Panthers for the lead in the Atlantic Division, though the Panthers have also played two fewer games.
The Maple Leafs made a minor deal today, sending tough guy winger Kurtis Gabriel to Chicago for defenceman Chad Krys.
Krys is a 23-year-old left-shot defenceman who has 15 points (2 G, 13 A) in 64 AHL games with Rockford since turning pro in 2018-2019. He played three seasons at Boston University. Before that he was part of the U.S. Development Program and played some games for the Under-18 side during the 2014-2015 season. That team’s leading scorer was Auston Matthews.
Gabriel is a 28-year-old winger who has five points (2 G, 3 A) and 153 penalty minutes in 49 career NHL games. He had two points (1 G, 1 A) and 36 penalty minutes in 13 games for the Marlies this season. With the Maple Leafs picking up Kyle Clifford on waivers, Gabriel does not have as much value to the NHL club.
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
Tampa Bay Lightning
The Tampa Bay Lightning rallied for two goals late in Tuesday’s 3-2 win at Montreal, the fourth straight victory for Tampa Bay.
The Lightning are still missing star right winger Nikita Kucherov and centre Brayden Point. Defenceman Erik Cernak missed Tuesday’s game at Montreal and is questionable for Thursday night at Toronto. Centre Anthony Cirelli is a game-time decision for the Lightning. If Cirelli can’t play, that’s a big loss. He has averaged 21:40 of ice time per game in the past 11 games.
Despite all their injuries, the Lightning are 16-5-4, which puts them in third place in the Atlantic Division, two points behind the Maple Leafs. The Lightning have played two fewer games than Toronto.
Steven Stamkos leads the Lightning with 28 points (12 G, 16 A) in 24 games.
Here are expected lines for the Tampa Bay Lighting on Thursday:
Palat – Stamkos – Joseph
Killorn – Cirelli – Perry
Katchouk – Colton – Raddysh
Maroon – Bellemare – Nash
Hedman – Rutta
McDonagh – Bogosian
Sergachev – Foote
Watch on TSN and listen on TSN 1050 in Toronto.