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Photo Credit: © Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

The Leafs hope to end their season-series against the Canucks on a high note

Now that the Leafs have secured their spot in the 2021 Playoffs, the attention now turns towards locking up the North Division to have home-ice advantage through the first two rounds at minimum. With their victory against the Canucks and the Oilers dropping their game to the Flames, Toronto’s magic number to clinch their first division title since 2000 is down to eight and that number has a chance to drop even further should things go well.

This time around will see all four of the players who sat out on Thursday night make their return to the lineup. Although Toronto is going to ice all of their best available players for this contest, this likely won’t be the last time a number of key players sit out during the final five regular-season games in accordance with load management. On the power play, Alexander Kerfoot will replace Alex Galchenyuk on the second unit in a likely attempt to get the latter back on track since his offensive production has stalled in recent weeks.

Vancouver enters this game with their team going through a 1-4-0 slide that has taken a hit to their already low chances of sneaking into the playoffs. Despite having an edge in games remaining on their opponents (11 contests left after this one), the Canucks have little room for error so you can expect a hungry and motivated team looking to bounce back from two regulation losses on consecutive nights. Toronto has been the better team in all three of their previous matchups but only once did they get the bounces to go their way.

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All of which is to say this has the makings of an entertaining game on prime time.

Tale of the Tape

Lineups

Toronto Maple Leafs

LW C RW Forwards
Nick Foligno
NICK FOLIGNO

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Rating: 72.5#61 LW

Auston Matthews
AUSTON MATTHEWS

Rating: 82.3#6 C

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Mitch Marner
MITCH MARNER

Rating: 76.6#18 RW

FL1 Rating
Rating: 77.14#9 FL1
Alex Galchenyuk
ALEX GALCHENYUK

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Rating: 70.8#115 LW

John Tavares
JOHN TAVARES

Rating: 77.6#15 C

William Nylander
WILLIAM NYLANDER

Rating: 76.1#23 RW

FL2 Rating
Rating: 74.83#7 FL2
Ilya Mikheyev
ILYA MIKHEYEV

Rating: 74.0#42 LW

Alexander Kerfoot
ALEXANDER KERFOOT

Rating: 70.8#113 C

Wayne Simmonds
WAYNE SIMMONDS

Rating: 70.2#112 RW

FL3 Rating
Rating: 71.70#18 FL3
Joe Thornton
JOE THORNTON

Rating: 72.3#74 LW

Adam Brooks
ADAM BROOKS
Jason Spezza
JASON SPEZZA

Rating: 69.4#126 RW

FL4 Rating
Rating: 70.84#16 FL4
DEFENSIVE PAIRINGS Defense
Morgan Rielly
MORGAN RIELLY

Rating: 75.3#14 LD

T.J. Brodie
T.J. BRODIE

Rating: 74.2#27 RD

DL1 Rating
Rating: 74.76#13 DL1
Jake Muzzin
JAKE MUZZIN

Rating: 75.1#17 LD

Justin Holl
JUSTIN HOLL

Rating: 72.0#61 RD

DL2 Rating
Rating: 73.56#14 DL2
Rasmus Sandin
RASMUS SANDIN

Rating: 72.3#69 LD

Travis Dermott
TRAVIS DERMOTT

Rating: 71.7#83 RD

DL3 Rating
Rating: 71.98#17 DL3

Vancouver Canucks

LW C RW Forwards
Tanner Pearson
TANNER PEARSON

Rating: 73.7#38 LW

Bo Horvat
BO HORVAT

Rating: 74.8#34 C

Kole Lind
KOLE LIND
FL1 Rating
Rating: 74.25#17 FL1
Nils Hoglander
NILS HOGLANDER
J.T. Miller
J.T. MILLER

Rating: 78.5#7 C

Brock Boeser
BROCK BOESER

Rating: 74.1#41 RW

FL2 Rating
Rating: 76.29#4 FL2
Tyler Motte
TYLER MOTTE

Rating: 68.8#144 LW

Brandon Sutter
BRANDON SUTTER

Rating: 70.1#131 C

Jake Virtanen
JAKE VIRTANEN

Rating: 72.0#78 RW

FL3 Rating
Rating: 70.32#29 FL3
Matthew Highmore
MATTHEW HIGHMORE

Rating: 70.5#108 LW

Travis Boyd
TRAVIS BOYD

Rating: 70.4#124 C

Zack MacEwen
ZACK MACEWEN
FL4 Rating
Rating: 70.45#24 FL4
DEFENSIVE PAIRINGS Defense
Nate Schmidt
NATE SCHMIDT

Rating: 75.5#18 LD

Tyler Myers
TYLER MYERS

Rating: 72.6#50 RD

DL1 Rating
Rating: 74.02#17 DL1
Quinn Hughes
QUINN HUGHES

Rating: 75.2#15 LD

Travis Hamonic
TRAVIS HAMONIC

Rating: 72.8#45 RD

DL2 Rating
Rating: 73.99#9 DL2
Alexander Edler
ALEXANDER EDLER

Rating: 74.3#26 LD

Jalen Chatfield
JALEN CHATFIELD
DL3 Rating
Rating: 74.31#1 DL3

Leafs Starting Goalie: Jack Campbell

Despite a mostly stellar performance from @David Rittich on Thursday that secured his first win as a Leaf, going back to Campbell is the right call. He has bounced back well after a three-game stretch of shaky play that resulted in his first three losses of the season and is now regaining his confidence at the perfect time. The only team that Campbell has yet to beat this season is the Canucks so I imagine that is a motivating factor heading into this game.

Canucks Starting Goalie: Thatcher Demko

On the flip side, the Canucks are looking for any of their goalies to provide a spark that will get them out of their five-game slump. Demko has had success against the Leafs with two convincing wins in his previous two starts against them. In those two games back in March, he stopped 68 of 71 shots against and played like the goalie that propelled his team to Game 7 of the second round against the Golden Knights a season ago. And he is looking to get back in the win column for the first time since March 19th, so there’s that.

The puck drop for tonight’s game is scheduled for 7 p.m. EST. You can catch the action on CBC and Sportsnet.