Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

New York Islanders vs. Toronto Maple Leafs (Game Number 61) Live Thread

Are you ready for some Toronto Maple Leafs hockey???

The Leafs are in Long Island for a battle against the New York Islanders tonight. The game will be the first for both teams since the Olympic break. Neither team has played since February 8.

The Leafs had three players represent their respective countries in the Sochi Olympics: Phil Kessel, James van Riemsdyk and Nikolai Kulemin. The Isles also had three with John Tavares, Thomas Vanek and Michael Grabner. Unfortunately for the Islanders, Tavares injured his knee in Sochi and will miss the remainder of the season.

To make matters worse, Frans Nielsen is also out, so the Isles are pretty depleted at the centre position. They’re expected to play Brock Nelson at the number-one centre spot, with recent call-up Ryan Strome likely to get a lot of playing time.

Speaking of centres, Nikolai Kulemin looks to be in line to play his third consecutive game as the team’s third-line centre. Dave Bolland is still out, while Trevor Smith will probably return from injury, but in a fourth-line wing spot. For all your lineup and viewing information, check out our preview.

For all the latest from now until puck drop, follow along with the Twitter machine:

Got any predictions for tonight’s game? I see the Leafs starting this final stretch of the season on the right foot, winning 5-3.


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Tags: John Tavares Nikolai Kulemin Ryan Strome Toronto Maple Leafs Trevor Smith

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