The Toronto Maple Leafs have chosen to give NHL rookie goaltender, Erik Källgren, his first ever NHL start as they take on the Dallas Stars tonight at 7pm est.
Källgren played in his first ever NHL game in relief of the struggling Petr Mrazek last Thursday when the Toronto Maple Leafs hosted the Arizona Coyotes. Mrazek was pulled halfway through the second period after allowing four goals on 12 shots.
Erik Källgren put up a stellar performance in relief allowing the Toronto Maple Leafs to erase a 4-1 deficit and force overtime. Unfortunately, a blown holding call by the refs allowed Jakob Chychrun to push passed Auston Matthews and score the overtime winner to break Källgren’s shutout bid.
Despite Källgren’s superior performance, the Toronto Maple Leafs elected to give Mrazek consecutive starts for the outdoor Heritage Classic in Hamilton on Sunday against the Buffalo Sabres. The Leafs lost that game 5-2.
Toronto Maple Leafs Legend Serving Suspension
Auston Matthews will serve the first game of his two-game suspension tonight. Matthews was suspended after making head contact with a crosscheck on Buffalo Sabres defenseman, Rasmus Dahlin, during the Hertiage Classic on Sunday.
Matthews seems to be getting frustrated by the lack of penalties getting called when he’s been violated this season. First the refs ruined a great game against Matthews’ hometown team when they blew the call against Arizona in overtime. Then the refs seemed oblivious after Dahlin crosschecked Matthews into the Sabres net.
After Matthews decided to take matters into his own hands, both Matthews and Dahlin served two-minute crosschecking penalties. It was only the sixth penalty Auston Matthews has served all season.
The conflict may have triggered the late game skirmish that saw Michael Bunting, Ilya Mikheyev, Tage Thompson and Dylan Cozens get ejected with 1:43 remaining.
Tonight’s Toronto Maple Leafs Line-Up
In the absence of Auston Matthews, Toronto Maple Leafs top prospect, Nick Robertson, draws back into the lineup after missing Sunday’s Heritage Classic as a healthy scratch. Kyle Clifford will also draw into the lineup, and Wayne Simmonds will sit out.
Newly acquired defenseman, Ilya Lyubushkin, will get another opportunity to play with Morgan Reilly on the top defensive pairing. Lyubushkin was designated to the top pairing near the halfway mark of Sunday’s game and played well in the role though he took a hooking penalty after getting beat in a foot race by a Sabres’ forward.
(As reported by TSN’s Mark Masters)
Toronto Maple Leafs fans and scouting staff will also get a great opportunity to check out Dallas Stars defenseman, John Klingberg, who has been the subject of many recent trade rumours involving the Stars and Maple Leafs. The NHL Trade Deadline is this Monday, March 21st.