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Maple Leafs look to rebound on home ice against a tired Stars team

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Photo credit:John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports
Joseph Zita
19 days ago
The 2024 All-Star break has been over for a couple of days now, and it’s time to zone back in as the second half of the season is underway with teams looking to make a push toward the playoffs.
The Toronto Maple Leafs returned to action Monday night when they hosted the New York Islanders for the third and final time this season. Unfortunately, they came out with the same result as the previous two games against New York: losing by one goal, losing the season series to another non-playoff team.
The Leafs can quickly turn the page when they get back on the ice tonight to take on one of the NHL’s best teams, the Dallas Stars, for the second and final time this season. The first meeting between these two clubs happened in late October in Dallas when Toronto went in, took care of business, and walked out with a 4-1 win.
The Stars will be playing on the second night of a back-to-back after defeating the Sabres last night 2-1, extending their winning streak to four games and giving them seven wins in their previous ten games. This current hot stretch from Dallas has catapulted them into third place overall in the NHL standings, just five points back of the first-place Vancouver Canucks.
But with Toronto on home ice and the Stars playing last night, the advantage is for the Maple Leafs, right? Well, it hasn’t been that easy for them this season. Despite being one of the NHL’s best teams in the regular season, especially at home, over the past handful of seasons, Scotiabank Arena hasn’t been as kind to Toronto this season.
They currently hold a record of 25-15-8, but their play at home seems to be impacting their overall record. In 23 home games, the Maple Leafs have an 11-10-2 record. For context, their road record is 14-5-6, which is much better. This home record from them is unusual.
Here are their home records over the past three seasons:
2020-21: 18-7-3
2021-22: 31-8-2
2022-23: 27-8-6
It’s strange to see them struggle so much on home ice. They’re giving up more goals at home compared to on the road, blowing more leads, and ultimately, blowing games and precious points in the standings. Tonight, they’ll have to put together one of their better efforts of the season if they want to get back in the win column against a darn good Stars team because they head out on the road this weekend to Ottawa to take on the Senators, a team everyone knows wakes up to play against Toronto.

Pregame details:

Toronto Maple Leafs’ lineup:

Matthew Knies – Auston Matthews – Mitch Marner
Tyler Bertuzzi – John Tavares – William Nylander
Nick Robertson – Max Domi – Noah Gregor
Bobby McMann – Pontus Holmberg – Ryan Reaves
Morgan Rielly – TJ Brodie
Simon Benoit – Jake McCabe
Mark Giordano – Timothy Liljegren

Dallas Stars:

Jason Robertson – Roope Hintz – Wyatt Johnston
Mason Marchment – Matt Duchene – Tyler Seguin
Jamie Benn – Sam Steel – Joe Pavelski
Craig Smith – Radek Faksa – Evgenii Dadonov
Thomas Harley – Miro Heiskanen
Esa Lindell – Jani Hakanpaa
Ryan Suter – Nils Lundkvist

Projected goalies:

Ilya Samsonov (TOR) vs Scott Wedgewood (DAL)

Broadcast:

Sportsnet, 7:00 pm ET/4:00 pm PT
(Stats from hockey-reference.com)
(Projected lines from dailyfaceoff.com)

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