7:36 pm
December 13

Maple Leafs @ Lightning

Who will WIN this matchup?

Toronto Maple Leafs (21-9-1)

@ Tampa Bay Lightning (24-7-1)


Starting Goalies:

Frederik Andersen (TOR): Confirmed

Andrei Vasilevskiy (TB): Confirmed


Current odds:

Toronto Maple Leafs: (+120)

Tampa Bay Lightning: (-140)


 Captain Steven Stamkos and the Tampa Bay Lightning hope to continue their scoring surges when they host the Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday night in a showdown of the top two teams in the league. Stamkos boasts eight goals and four assists during Tampa Bay’s seven-game winning streak, in which it has scored 36 times, after posting his club-record ninth career hat trick in Monday’s 6-3 victory over the New York Rangers. Stamkos owns 18 goals and 41 points in 35 career games against Toronto, which is six points behind the Atlantic Division-leading Lightning with a game in hand after knocking off Carolina 4-1 on Tuesday.

• Nylander led the way for the Maple Leafs with two assists in his third game since returning from a contract hold out and scored twice in four contests against Tampa Bay last season. “It gets you feeling good and playing well, and creating chances is important,” Nylander told reporters Tuesday. “I can build off it. The legs feel pretty good. … I am just trying to get back as fast as possible. Every game is getting better and better.”

• Forward Mitch Marner has not scored in 12 games, but boasts 13 assists in his last eight outings to take the team lead with 41 points, and John Tavares owns a team-high 19 goals after scoring Tuesday. Auston Matthews has 16 goals in 17 contests this season – six during his current six-game point streak since coming off injured reserve – and defenseman Morgan Rielly has at least a point in six straight outings. Defenseman Jake Gardiner is also on a roll with a goal and seven assists during a five-game point streak while forward Zach Hyman will sit out the final contest of a two-game suspension for an illegal check.

• Louis Domingue is 11-3-0 since taking over as the No. 1 goalie, but All-Star Andrei Vasilevskiy (fractured foot) is healthy again after going through a full practice and could be back in net as early as Thursday. “It’s not as much the injury as it is the cardio and how he’s feeling in that respect,” Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper told reporters Wednesday. “I’ll sit down with him. … and see how he feels, but he looked good out there.” Right wing Nikita Kucherov has assists in three straight games and leads team with 45 points – four more than Brayden Point, who has seven of his team-high 21 goals in the last 10 games.

• Toronto F Patrick Marleau scored his 543rd career goal Wednesday, pulling within one of Maurice “Rocket” Richard for 30th on the NHL’s all-time list.

• Tampa Bay D Anton Stralman (upper body), who has missed the last 16 games, also went through a full practice Wednesday but is not expected to play Thursday.

• The Lightning, who won four of the last five meetings, are 9-of-23 on the power play the last seven games and Toronto is 1-of-12 the past four.

StreakSmarter Pick
Tampa Bay Lightning