The Toronto Maple Leafs meet the Washington Capitals in the second half of their back-to-back. The Caps fell to the Montreal Canadiens 3-2 last night, but they almost battled back from a 3-0 first period deficit thanks to a couple markers from Alex Ovechkin. They’ll be looking to bounce back tonight.
The Leafs have been off since Thursday night when they struggled mightily to generate offense against the Nashville Predators and lost 4-1. Nazem Kadri had the lone goal on a fluky long-range shot. Jonathan Bernier showed his human side and finished the night with a lowly .857 save percentage.
Bernier will have the night off tonight in favour of James Reimer, who’s been off since last Saturday but has seen the bulk of the Hockey Night In Canada games for the Leafs. Reimer has only had one sub-.915 save percentage game, and will have another chance to prove he deserves the bulk of the starts.
The Capitals are a weak possession team (still better than the Leafs, mind you), but still boast a number of scoring threats. Ovechkin leads the league in goals with 19, Nicklas Backstrom is tied for seventh in points with 24 and former Leaf Mikhail Grabovski is having a fine year with 19. Another offensive threat in Martin Erat will be a healthy scratch tonight, as he’s yet to score a goal in 20 games this year.
As for a prediction, I’m going to predict a 3-2 loss for the Leafs. Scoring has been a weak spot for the team, and I don’t really see them breaking out of their doldrums tonight. Reimer should have another strong game, but he might be a little overworked tonight.
What are your predictions? Comment below to participate in the game thread. Puck drop is set for a little after 7 PM, and all the other info you need can be found in our preview.
GO LEAFS GO!