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LGD: A Holl New World

After a terrible loss in their first Auston-less game this season, the Leafs are looking to put that behind them and come to play at home against the Dallas Stars tonight.

The Leafs have not played that well at home so far, a 3-4-0 record so far this season does not look good for a team wanting to make their arena a fortress. The 5-0-0 away record is surely helping them along and making their overall record not look as terrible.

Meanwhile, the Dallas Stars are only 1-3-0 away and have a 5-2-0 record at home. So maybe they will cancel each other out and the Leafs will now just be .500 at home so far this season. Someone has to win.

The first game between these two – finishing in a 7-4 win – was probably one of the best games the Leafs have played this season, so maybe lightning will strike twice and we will be in for a treat.

Leafs Lines

LW C RW
Zach Hyman
ZACH HYMAN
John Tavares
JOHN TAVARES
Mitch Marner
MITCH MARNER
Patrick Marleau
PATRICK MARLEAU
Nazem Kadri
NAZEM KADRI
Kasperi Kapanen
KASPERI KAPANEN
Andreas Johnsson
ANDREAS JOHNSSON
Par Lindholm
PAR LINDHOLM
Connor Brown
CONNOR BROWN
Tyler Ennis
TYLER ENNIS
Frederik Gauthier
FREDERIK GAUTHIER
Josh Leivo
JOSH LEIVO
LD RD
Morgan Rielly
MORGAN RIELLY
Ron Hainsey
RON HAINSEY
Jake Gardiner
JAKE GARDINER
Nikita Zaitsev
NIKITA ZAITSEV
Travis Dermott
TRAVIS DERMOTT
Justin Holl
JUSTIN HOLL

Upfront, the Leafs will most likely remain the same as they were against the Flames on Monday night. It will be interesting to see what Kadri is able to do now that he has actual top-6 wingers beside him. Against the Flames, Babcock reunited the Marleau-Kadri-Marner line from last year, but it looks like Kapanen will now be on the right side, with Marner being reunited with Tavares.

The fourth line continues to dominate the shot attempts battle for some reason. Frederik Gauthier has suddenly turned into a capable fourth-line center rather than just a plug. He can defend well and has probably been the most pleasant surprise from this team this year.

On the blueline, Justin Holl is making his season debut. After being just a healthy scratch so far, the point-per-game defenceman will be playing alongside a returning Travis Dermott on the Leafs’ bottom pair tonight.

Stars Lines

LW C RW
Devin Shore
DEVIN SHORE
Tyler Seguin
TYLER SEGUIN
Mattias Janmark
MATTIAS JANMARK
Jamie Benn
JAMIE BENN
Jason Spezza
JASON SPEZZA
Valeri Nichushkin
VALERI NICHUSHKIN
Tyler Pitlick
TYLER PITLICK
Radek Faksa
RADEK FAKSA
Blake Comeau
BLAKE COMEAU
Gemel Smith
GEMEL SMITH
Jason Dickinson
JASON DICKINSON
Brett Ritchie
BRETT RITCHIE
LD RD
Esa Lindell
ESA LINDELL
John Klingberg
JOHN KLINGBERG
Marc Methot
MARC METHOT
Miro Heiskanen
MIRO HEISKANEN
Julius Honka
JULIUS HONKA
Roman Polak
ROMAN POLAK

The Stars might be looking to pounce on the Leafs’ home misery, but they are missing some key parts in Alexander Radulov, Stephen Johns, and obviously the most important part, Connor Carrick.

The new line of Benn-Spezza-Nichushkin has not played at all together, but on paper, it looks like it can be an interesting line to watch. None of them are fantastic skaters but they all possess high offensive skill and a nose for the net. It will certainly be interesting.

Both sides look fairly top-heavy, but Dallas has the blueline to back them up no matter what. There is the blemish of a Roman Polak back there, but Klingberg, Lindell, Heiskanen, and Honka, more than make up for it.

Starting Goaltenders

Frederik Andersen – Making yet another start that might be deemed unnecessary, Andersen will be getting the nod for the 11th time so far this season. He is back after his horrid start, with a .919 sv% for the season so far.

Anton Khudobin – Dallas is going to be starting their backup for this game, making the right call after Bishop had a tough 35-shot game against the Canadiens this week as well. Khudobin is making his third start of the season.

Puck drop is at 7:00pm EST and on TSN4 or Fox Sports-Southwest.

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