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Bertuzzi a game-time decision as depleted Maple Leafs host Oilers on Hockey Night in Canada

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Photo credit:John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports
Joseph Zita
17 days ago
For the second and final time this season, the Toronto Maple Leafs and Edmonton Oilers play each other tonight.
We’re entering the final stretch of games this regular season, and for both these teams, mathematically, there is something to play for in the remaining 14 + games. Edmonton, sitting in 2nd place in the Pacific division, sits eight points back of Vancouver with three games in hand. And for Toronto, despite potentially being locked in that 3rd spot in the Atlantic division, they are seven points back of Florida for 2nd place, with one game in hand, and trail 1st place Boston by 10 points with three games in hand.
It’s more realistic for the Oilers to catch the Canucks to win the Pacific division. Still, until the Maple Leafs are mathematically eliminated from winning the Atlantic division or even overtake the Panthers for 2nd place – and home ice in the first round – they might have a chance, pending the teams ahead of them to lose more than they win.
Anyway, for tonight’s contest, we’ll be treated to two great Canadian teams battling it out on Hockey Night in Canada, which will headline some of the game’s greatest players. From Connor McDavid chasing his first 100-assist season to Auston Matthews on the hunt for 70 goals, Leon Draisaitl and William Nylander, among others, will also be on display tonight.
However, the Maple Leafs enter tonight short-handed again and have a chance to play without another one of their top-six wingers, who is listed as a game-time decision.
According to Sheldon Keefe, Tyler Bertuzzi, who missed yesterday’s practice and was stapled to the bench for the first eight minutes on Wednesday night against the Washington Capitals, has been fighting an illness. Fortunately, he was on the ice earlier this morning, but as Keefe alluded to in the quote below, it’s up to Bertuzzi and how he’s feeling closer to the game time.
If Bertuzzi can’t dress for tonight’s game, he joins Mitch Marner, Calle Jarnkrok, and Ilya Lyubushkin, among others, currently sidelined with injuries/illnesses. Without Bertuzzi, after yesterday’s practice, Sheldon Keefe has adjusted the forward lines and defence pairings again ahead of their clash with Edmonton.

Pregame details:

Toronto Maple Leafs’ lineup:

Matthew Knies – Auston Matthews – Max Domi
Bobby McMann – John Tavares – William Nylander
Connor Dewar – David Kampf – Noah Gregor
Nick Robertson – Pontus Holmberg – Ryan Reaves
Morgan Rielly – Jake McCabe
Joel Edmundson – Timothy Liljegren
Simon Benoit – Conor Timmins

Edmonton Oilers’ lineup:

Leon Draisaitl – Connor McDavid – Zach Hyman
Warren Foegele – Ryan Nugent-Hopkins – Ryan McLeod
Evander Kane – Adam Henrique – Corey Perry
Mattias Janmark – Sam Carrick – Connor Brown
Mattias Ekholm – Evan Bouchard
Darnell Nurse – Vincent Desharnais
Brett Kulak – Cody Ceci

Projected goalies:

Ilya Samsonov (TOR) vs Stuart Skinner (EDM)
Ilya Samsonov was the first goalie off the ice this morning and is projected to be the starter tonight for the fifth time in the last six games for the Maple Leafs.

Broadcast:

Sportsnet, 7:00 pm ET/4:00 pm PT
(Projected lineups from dailyfaceoff.com)

Pregame Read:

What’s worked for the Maple Leafs, what hasn’t since the trade deadline by Arun Srinivasan
Also, here’s what is being said over at Oilersnation heading into tonight’s matchup

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