In the second half of a back-to-back game, the Maple Leafs play a short game, resting Mitch Marner and Austin Matthews, and Conor Timmins lining up the lead in the second-to-last game of the regular season tonight in Tampa (7:00 p.m. EST, TSN4).
In the meantime, the Lightning must play their full roster on two days off.
Head to Head: Lightning vs. Maple Leafs
In season stats so far, the Lightning have an advantage over the Leafs in three of the five offensive categories, but the Leafs have the advantage in five of the five defensive categories.
Match day quotes
Sheldon Keefe on managing the bench with just 11 forwards and six defenders:
It’s a little extra opportunity for everyone. We will look at different things and different matches.
It’s going to be another really competitive physical match and all that kind of stuff.
It’s a good opportunity for us. We will be 11 forwards and six defenders. We’ll go under one.
There will be plenty of ice time for players, and six D’s will be trading steadily. 11 FW is about the same.
Keefe on Mitch Marner’s comment that he doesn’t like sitting outside of games:
I don’t think anyone wants to miss the games, but I do think the conversations he has with me are different than the conversations he has with you.
Keefe on the importance of Marner reaching 100 points:
All of our players, including Mitch, are looking for the big picture. There are many reasons here. In a back-to-back game after an intense game yesterday, Mitch played more than anyone else on our team, and he will play more than anyone else on our team when it matters most.
He’ll be back on Thursday, and he’ll have a chance to get it.
I forget where last year ended, but in my opinion, you’re almost done. This is how it works. I don’t remember the degree it was when my kids went through the approximation stage, but they know how to handle it. To me, you’re a 100-point man the way he is, but you want to get there.
All of our players focus on bigger things.
Zach Aston-Reese prepares for this game against the Leafs’ first-round opponent in Tampa:
I think that will set the tone.
We struggle with some adversities. Some guys take a break. I think it’s a good opportunity for everyone, especially someone like me in the last 16, to get more playing time.
It would be nice if Kniesy got some playing time, and a good opportunity for a lot of guys.
ZAR in Matthew Knies’ first game:
I thought he was really strong last night. His skate is really good and the way he protects the puck. He had two shifts in the o-district where he put the men in a low rotational rotation.
I think the future is bright for him.
Toronto Maple Leafs projected streaks
#23 Matthew Kniss – #90 Ryan O’Reilly – #88 William Nylander
#58 Michael Bunting – #91 John Tavares – #19 Yarncrook Street
#52 Noel Akari – #15 Alex Kerfoot
#12 Zach Aston-Reese – #64 David Kampf – #25 Connor Timmins
#22 Jack McCabe – #37 Timothy Lillegren
#78 TJ Brody – #3 Justin Hall
#44 Morgan Riley – #2 Luke Shane
Author: #60 Joseph Wall
Matt Onuska (ATO)
Supplements: Austin Matthews, Mitch Marner, Ilya Samsonov, Mark Giordano
Harm: Eric Gustafson, Sam Lafferty, Matt Murray, Nick Robertson, Jake Muzin, Victor Mitty
Lightning latitudes for Tampa Bay
#38 Brandon Hagel – #21 Brayden Point – #86 Nikita Kucherov
#91 Stephen Stamkos – #20 Nick Paul – #17 Alex Killorn
#79 Ross Colton – #71 Anthony Cirelli – #23 Michael Esimont
#14 Patrick Maron – #41 Pierre-Edouard Bellemare – #10 Corey Perry
#77 Victor Hedman – #48 Nick Berbix
#98 Mikhail Sergachev – #43 Darren Radish
#28 Ian Cole – #81 Eric Cernak
Start: #88 Andrey Vasilevsky
#1 Brian Elliott
Harm: Tanner Ginot