Print

About the Maple Leafs - 12-16-13

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

A preview of the Maple Leafs.

When and where: 7 p.m. EST. Consol Energy Center.

TV: Root Sports (Pittsburgh market), NHL Network (rest of the United States), SportsNet Ontario, RDS.

Record: 17-14-3, 37 points. The Maple Leafs are in fifth place in the Atlantic Division.

Leading Scorer: Phil Kessel, 32 points (17 goals, 15 assists).

Last Game: 7-3 home win against the Blackhawks, Saturday. Joffrey Lupul had two goals and two assists for the Maple Leafs.

Last Game against the Penguins: 6-5 road shootout loss, Nov. 27. James van Riemsdyk (right) had two regulation goals and an assist the Maple Leafs.

Maple Leafs Player We Would Bet Money On Scoring: van Riemsdyk. He has five points in his past two games against the Penguins.

Ex-Penguins on the Maple Leafs: Randy Carlyle, head coach; Trevor Smith, C.

Ex-Maple Leafs on the Penguins: Tom Fitzgerald, assistant to the general manager.

Useless Maple Leafs Trivia Vaguely Related to the Penguins: Kessel (538) has played the most regular season game of any player selected in the 2006 draft. Hurricanes forward and former Penguin Jordan Staal is second with 513.

Best Maple Leafs Video We Could Find: Maple Leafs forward Eddie Shack, a former Penguin, fighting another former Penguin, forward Bob Leiter of the Bruins, after breaking the glass during a 1963-64 season:

Probable goaltenders: Marc-Andre Fleury (18-8-1, 2.01 GAA, .924 SV%) for the Penguins. Jonathan Bernier (10-10-2, 2.55 GAA, .925 SV%) for the Maple Leafs.

Injuries: For the Penguins, center Evgeni Malkin ("lower-body") is day to day. Defensemen Kris Letang ("upper body"), Paul Martin (leg), Brooks Orpik (head), Rob Scuderi (ankle), right winger Beau Bennett (hand/wrist), center Andrew Ebbett (ankle), left winger Tanner Glass (hand) and goaltender Tomas Vokoun (blood clots) are on injured reserve. For the Maple Leafs, center Dave Bolland (ankle), Tyler Bozak (oblique) and right winger Colton Orr (elbow) are on injured reserve.

Potential lines and defensive pairings: The Penguins primary lines and defensive pairings at today's morning skate were:

14 Chris Kunitz - 87 Sidney Crosby - 9 Pascal Dupuis
39 Harry Zolnierczyk - 36 Jussi Jokinen - 59 Jayson Megna
23 Chris Conner - 16 Brandon Sutter - 46 Joe Vitale
27 Craig Adams - 36 Zach Sill - 12 Chuck Kobasew

2 Matt Niskanen - 3 Olli Maatta
41 Robert Bortuzzo - 8 Brian Dumoulin
47 Simon Despres - 55 Philip Samuelsson

-The Maple Leafs lines and defensive pairings at today's morning skate were:

21 James van Riemsdyk - 43 Nazem Kadri - 81 Phil Kessel
12 Mason Raymond - 24 Peter Holland - 19 Joffrey Lupul
29 Jerry D'Amigo - 11 Jay McClement - 41 Nikolai Kulemin
38 Kyle McLaren - 23 Trevor Smith - 40 Troy Bodie

3 Dion Phaneuf - 36 Carl Gunnarsson
51 Jake Gardiner - 4 Cody Franson
26 John-Michael Liles - 44 Morgan Reilly

Notes:

-The last time the Penguins played the Maple Leafs, this happened:

-For the Penguins, Deryk Engelland and James Neal are suspended.

-Samuelsson is expected to make his NHL debut. His father, former Penguins defenseman Ulf Samuelsson, is traveling to Pittsburgh to attend.

-Letang and Scuderi are expected to be sidelined until after Christmas.

-The Penguins top power play at today's morning skate was Crosby, Jokinen, Kunitz, Dumoulin and Niskanen.

-Smith is familiar with the Penguins' younger defensemen.

-For the Maple Leafs, right winger David Clarkson is suspended.

-Carlyle will coach his 100th game with the regular season.

-Ranger has 99 career points.

-Our live blog begins at approximately 6 p.m. Please tune in.

(Photo: Derek Leung/Getty Images)

Join the conversation:

To report inappropriate comments, abuse and/or repeat offenders, please send an email to socialmedia@post-gazette.com and include a link to the article and a copy of the comment. Your report will be reviewed in a timely manner. Thank you.