LGD: Goodbye California

USATSI_9758283

Photo Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

Tonight’s game marks the conclusion of the Leafs’ annual California road trip, and if you have stayed up to watch Toronto’s last two losses against San Jose and Los Angeles, you’re probably exhausted.  

The Leafs will face off against the Anaheim Ducks in their second game of a back-to-back.  This rare Friday night matchup means that Toronto will not be playing Saturday night on Hockey Night In Canada.  Ouch.  

The Leafs were bumped out of the last wild card position last night following a shootout loss to the LA Kings. As the season winds down, these last few games will be absolutely crucial.  With losses in 12 of their last 17 games, a win for Toronto tonight will certainly come as much needed relief to a team pushing for the playoffs. 

THE LEAFS 

Here are Toronto’s projected lines, courtesy of Daily Faceoff: 

The Leafs will be rolling the same lines as yesterday. It’s worth noting Brian Boyle’s performance in last night’s game, as he recorded his first point as a Maple Leaf off of a faceoff win that led to Toronto’s second goal of the game.  

THE DUCKS

Here are Anaheim’s projected lines, courtesy of Daily Faceoff: 

Hey Leafs fans, remember Horbinian Holzer? 

The Ducks currently sit in third place in the Pacific division, with a 4-5-1 record in their last 10 games. Tonight’s game against Toronto will mark the conclusion of Anaheim’s bye week – they suffered a 4-1 loss to the LA Kings in their last game, which took place on February 25th.  

STARTING GOALTENDERS

Curtis McElhinney will be starting in goal tonight for Toronto.  McElhinney is 2-3 in his last 5 games for the Leafs, shutting out Carolina in his most recent game on February 19.  Freddie Anderson takes to the bench against his former team for the first time since the trade that brought him to the Leafs in July 2016. 

Former Leafs goaltender Jonathan Bernier will be starting in net for the Ducks tonight, while former Leafs goaltender Jonas Enroth serves as backup.  Let’s be honest here, the Ducks will probably get a shutout.  

In all seriousness, Bernier is 9-6-2 this season with a 0.901 SV%.  In his last game against LA, Bernier stopped 29 of 32 shots and tallying a 0.906 SV%.  

WHAT TO LOOK OUT FOR

Tonight’s goaltender matchup is an entertaining one, essentially forming a goalie swap that took place in just over one season’s time. Brian Boyle plays in his second game with the Leafs, and had a relatively positive impact on last night’s game.  The Leafs also desperately need these 2 points with the playoffs looming just around the corner.  

The game will be aired on TSN-4 at 10:00 EST.