Who: Toronto Maple Leafs (8-5-3, 19 points, 2nd place Atlantic Division) @ Pittsburgh Penguins (6-6-3, 15 points, 7th place Metropolitan Division)
When: 7:00 p.m. Eastern
How to Watch: AT&T Sportsnet in Pittsburgh, Sling TV
Opponent Track: The Penguins and Maple Leafs battled at Scotiabank Arena last Friday in the first game of a back-to-back set for both teams. On Saturday, while the Penguins were blowing leads to the Canadiens, the Maple Leafs recovered from an early 2-0 deficit to the visiting Canucks with three goals in nine minutes in a 3-2 regulation win. Despite some significant absences from their lineup, the Leafs have won four of their last six games and are in top spot in the Atlantic— although with four teams (Tampa Bay, Florida, Detroit and Montreal) breathing down their necks in the standings, this team wants every point it can get.
Pens Path Ahead: The Pens are on the road for the rest of the week, with a game in Minnesota on Thursday followed by trips to Winnipeg on Saturday and Chicago on Sunday. It will be their fifth back-to-back set of the season (in their first four, they went 1-5-2).
Season Series: This season series will be played out entirely this month. After beating the Maple Leafs 4-2 last Friday and playing them again today, the Penguins will meet Toronto one more time at PPG Paints Arena on Saturday, November 26— on the back side of yet another set of consecutive games.
Getting to know the Maple Leafs
SB Nation counterpart: Pension Plan Puppets
Michael Bunting - Auston Matthews - Williams Nylander
Alexander Kerfoot - John Tavares - Mitch Marner
Zach Aston-Reese - David Kampf - Denis Malgin
Pierre Engvall - Pontus Holmberg - Calle Jarnkrok
Morgan Reilly - Jamie Benn
Mark Giordano - Justin Holl
Rasmus Sandin - Timothy Liljegren
Goalies: Matt Murray (Erik Kallgren)
Scratches: Wayne Simmonds, Nick Robertson, Mac Hollowell
IR: Kyle Clifford (shoulder), TJ Brodie (oblique), Jake Muzzin (back, out indefinitely), Carl Dahlstrom (shoulder, six months), Ilya Samsonov (knee, week-to-week)
- The Maple Leafs announced two significant losses to their blue line on Monday with the move to the injured reserve of TJ Brodie and Jake Muzzin. Hoping for good news for Muzzin, who suffered a cervical spine injury and is out indefinitely.
- For the first time this season, the Maple Leafs are splitting apart Mitch Marner and Auston Matthews. During Saturday’s win against the Canucks, Matthews centered the first line while Marner skated beside John Tavares on the second. The Leafs repeated the setup during Monday practice. It’s a shakeup meant to address the team’s lack of even-strength scoring, in which the Leafs are bottom-10 in the NHL. The Leafs hope the change will spark more 5v5 goals out of Auston Matthews, who has led the NHL in even-strength goals for the past three seasons but has only two through the first 16 games.
- The Maple Leafs are making up (in part) for their flagging 5v5 production by putting together one of the most dangerous power plays in the NHL. After boasting the best power play in the league last season, they’re still among the best. The Penguins should consider avoiding penalties as much as possible.
Welcome back, Matt Murray
With both Matt Murray and Ilya Samsonov on the injured reserve, the Maple Leafs have been leaning on third-stringer Erik Kallgren in net. He’s been decent— in four games since Samsonov suffered a knee injury during a Brad Marchand penalty shot, Kallgren has a 2-1-1 record and has a .901 save percentage with 10 goals against.
But he’ll be stepping aside on Tuesday. On Monday, Maple Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe said former Penguin Matt Murray will make his return from injury against the Penguins.
In the one game before he was sidelined with a groin injury, Murray opened the Leafs’ season with a less-than auspicious 4-3 loss to the Canadiens (he allowed four goals on 23 shots, including the game-winner with 19 seconds left in regulation.)
After struggling through two injury-plagued years with the Senators, Murray has a lot to prove in Toronto. Getting the chance to prove it against his former team feels downright poetic.
And now for the Pens...
Potential Game Lines
Jake Guentzel - Sidney Crosby - Bryan Rust
Jason Zucker - Evgeni Malkin - Rickard Rakell
Brock McGinn - Jeff Carter - Danton Heinen
Kasperi Kapanen - Ryan Poehling - Josh Archibald
Marcus Pettersson / Kris Letang
Brian Dumoulin / Jeff Petry
Chad Ruhwedel or P.O. Joseph / Jan Rutta
Goalies: Tristan Jarry or Casey DeSmith
Scratches: Filip Hallander (illness), P.O. Joseph (day-to-day lower body injury)
IR: Teddy Blueger
- Filip Hallander was out on Saturday due to illness and was “continuing to be evaluated” in Pittsburgh on Monday, Pens Inside Scoop Reports.
- P.O. Joseph, who has missed the past two games with a lower-body injury, practiced on Monday in a full-contact jersey.
- Mike Sullivan on Tristan Jarry: “When you look at the beginning part of the season, I thought he had some really good starts and was locked into his game. Then there’s been other moments when we’d like him to be a bit better.” Tristan Jarry on Tristan Jarry: “I’ve been dealing with some physical issues, and that’s obviously affected my playing.” Will the Pens lean more on Casey DeSmith while Jarry works through whatever he’s working through?
- Monday’s update on Teddy Blueger did not sound as if he is ready to go for Tuesday:
Mike Sullivan said right now, Teddy Blueger (upper-body) is at the point "where it's reactionary day-to-day, depending on how he responds to the different stimulus that we give him, whether it's in the weight room or on the ice."— Pens Inside Scoop (@PensInsideScoop) November 14, 2022
- Kasperi Kapanen skated on the fourth line again during Monday practice. When he returned against the Canadiens after a few healthy scratches, he skated just seven minutes and struggled again to drive play. If Hallander recovers, Kapanen could potentially get bumped out again.
- Kris Letang shaved his mustache. We will leave you to determine the significance of this news.
Kris Letang's mustache only made it halfway through Movember, by the way. It's gone.— Taylor Haase (@TaylorHaasePGH) November 14, 2022