Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

Florida Panthers vs. Toronto Maple Leafs (Game Number 58) Live Thread


The Florida Panthers and Toronto Maple Leafs meet for the third time this season tonight. The Panthers won the first game back on December 17 by a score of 3-1, while the Leafs countered with a big 6-3 victory in Toronto on Thursday.

The Leafs’ offense exploded in that game with goals by Cody Franson, Mason Raymond, James van Riemsdyk, Nikolai Kulemin, Joffrey Lupul and Tyler Bozak. Then on Saturday, the Leafs beat the Ottawa Senators by the same 6-3 score thanks to a Phil Kessel hat trick, and goals by Lupul, Bozak and Nazem Kadri.

The offense has come alive during this January streak. The Leafs scored at least four goals in seven of their last 10 games, going 8-1-1. Kessel has led the way during the stretch, scoring nine goals and 21 points.

The Panthers are on the opposite end of the spectrum. They sit 28th in the league in goals per game (the Leafs are 10th) and have lost three straight heading into tonight.

The Panthers, however, can hang their hat on a pretty solid possession game (15th in the league), when the Leafs are woeful (29th) in that regard. If they can spend long periods of time in the Leafs’ end and not let Kessel and Co. burn them in transition, they could squeeze out a win.

The big question will be which side of goaltender Tim Thomas shows up for the Cats. Thomas had a sub-.900 save percentage in each of his last four games, but he had at least a .911 in 12 of his 13 games before that. Thomas has burned the Leafs in the past when as a member of the Boston Bruins, so maybe he’ll revert to Vezina Trophy-winning form when he sees blue-and-white jerseys coming his way.

The Leafs will counter with Jonathan Bernier as usual. David Clarkson and Frazer McLaren will return to the Leafs’ lineup while Troy Bodie will be a healthy scratch. Carter Ashton and Peter Holland are both out with injuries. For more on the lineups, viewing information and other notes, check out the preview.

Check the tweets for the latest on all things Leafs:


Comment below during the game. Got any predictions? I’m gonna say the Leafs win it 4-2, with the top line continuing their dominance.

GO LEAFS GO!

Tags: David Clarkson Jonathan Bernier Phil Kessel Tim Thomas Toronto Maple Leafs

  • Tim Bayer

    Panthers are dominating possession and chances early

  • Tim Bayer

    Nice Bronx cheer from the Leafs fans in attendance after the first shot on goal at around the 12 minute mark

  • Tim Bayer

    Oh, Bodie is playing. Wasn’t expecting that.

  • Tim Bayer

    Another horrible first period. Everything’s going according to plan.

  • Tim Bayer

    Why did Carlyle change the bottom two defense pairings?

  • Tim Bayer

    HIT THE NET PHANOOF

  • Tim Bayer

    Slow clap for Sportsnet for analyzing the wrong replay during the video review

  • Tim Bayer

    Bergenheim hit looked late to me

  • Tim Bayer

    Gilbert’s point shot beats a screened Bernier. 1-0

  • Tim Bayer

    Bernier with the big save off Huberdeau on the brrakaway

  • Tim Bayer

    Gardiner and Huberdeau engage in a very short but spirited scrap. They’re an odd couple.

  • Tim Bayer

    I think the Leafs spent too much time on the beach today

  • Tim Bayer

    Well that sucks

  • Tim Bayer

    Leafs caught a break there. Puck bounced right across the line.

  • Tim Bayer

    CLARKSON

  • Tim Bayer

    Lupul getting a shift with Kessel and Bozak

  • Tim Bayer

    JvR with Kadri and Clarkson

  • Tim Bayer

    Matthias beat Bernier short side. Should’ve had it. 3-1 Cats