Game Preview: Toronto Maple Leafs at Nashville Predators 3/19/22

No more Central Division games this month, can the Preds stay afloat against one of the NHL’s best?

The Opponent:

The Toronto Maple Leafs are 7-2-1 in their last 10 games, and their 39-17-5 record puts them currently sitting in third place in the Atlantic Division.  The Leafs are still without goaltender Jack Campbell, as Erik Kallgren will get his third career start in the crease.  Kallgren got his first win of the season on Thursday in a 3-2 win against Carolina.

Returning tonight for the Leafs is the NHL’s leading goal scorer Auston Mathews, who is returning from a two-game suspension for cross-checking.  Mathew’s 45 goals on the year are 5 more than his closest competitor.  He’ll rejoin a line with another Calder Trophy candidate, Michael Bunting, who is tied with Nashville’s Tanner Jeannot for the rookie lead in goals with 20 and leads all rookies in points with 47.

The Nashville Predators:

The Predators have shaken off their post-All Star Game break slump, and have a 6-4-0 record in their last 10 games.  Nashville’s 74 points has them in the first wild card spot in the West, with the Wild getting the 3rd place spot due to points percentage.  A record-breaking game against the Philadelphia Flyers wasn’t enough to secure the win, but for once, we saw a team weak defensively and strong on offense - a balance of both will be key tonight.

Filip Forsberg scored a highlight reel goal to get his 32nd of the season in the loss, and both he and Matt Duchene (31) are both still in the hunt to break Viktor Arvidsson’s franchise single-season goal record of 34 with 21 games remaining in the season.  Forsberg’s goal also tied him with David Legwand (210) for most career goals in franchise history, so history could be made this evening.  Forsberg also stands to tie another Legwand record, as his 40 career game-winning goals sit just one behind Legwand’s franchise record.

Roman Josi continues his hot streak - Thursday’s game was Josi’s third straight 3+ point game in a row, and his 19th multi-point game of the season.  Josi sits at 72 points on the year - leading all defensemen - and is on pace to score 97 points, which would shatter Paul Kariya’s franchise record 85 points in a season.

Juuse Saros is expected to get the start once again, after a relatively weak game versus Philadelphia.  Coach Hynes also announced that callups Matt Tennyson and Jeremy Davies would be in the lineup on the third pair, taking over for Matt Benning and Mark Borowiecki (both placed on IR today) and Phillippe Myers, who was placed on waivers today.

How to Watch:

The game airs at 6 PM Central on Bally Sports South and 102.5 The Game.