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Game Preview: Toronto Maple Leafs @ Pittsburgh Penguins 11/25/2023 - Lines, how to watch

The Pens will look to fix what has become of the NHL’s worst power plays against the visiting Leafs.

Toronto Maple Leafs v Pittsburgh Penguins Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images

Who: Toronto Maple Leafs (10-5-3, 23 points, 34th place Atlantic Division) @ Pittsburgh Penguins (9-10-0, 18 points, 6th place Metropolitan Division)

When: 7:00 p.m. ET

How to Watch: NHL Network, SportsNet Pittsburgh

Pens’ Path Ahead: The Pens are back on the road Tuesday for a game against the Nashville Predators in Music City before heading down south Thursday to meet the Tampa Bay Lightning in Florida.

Opponent Track: The Maple Leafs, like the Penguins, are on the second half of a back-to-back set. The Leafs met up with the Blackhawks in Chicago on Friday night and lost 4-3 in overtime, snapping a streak of four straight wins but picking up a point to remain in an Atlantic playoff spot.

Season Series: The Pens will meet the Maple Leafs twice more, both times on the road, in December and March.

Hidden Stat: The Maple Leafs are perfect this season (7-0-0) when leading after two periods.

Getting to know the Maple Leafs

Lines from Friday’s game

FORWARDS

Matthew Knies - Auston Matthews - Mitch Marner

Tyler Bertuzzi - John Tavares - William Nylander

Nicholas Robertson - Max Domi - Calle Järnkrok

Noah Gregor - David Kämpf - Ryan Reaves

DEFENSEMEN

Morgan Rielly - TJ Brodie

Mark Giordano - Jake McCabe

William Lagesson - Conor Timmins

Goalies: Joseph Woll (Ilya Samsonov started last night)

Possible scratches: Bobby McMann, Alex Steve, Simon Benoit

IR: John Klingberg, Timothy Liljegren, Jake Muzzin, Matt Murray

  • Former Penguin Ryan Reaves became the 700th player in NHL history to score for the Maple Leafs with his first goal for the team last night.
  • Veteran defenseman John Klingberg, who hasn’t played since November 11, was placed on LTIR by the Leafs Thursday.
  • After Ilya Samsonov stopped 30 shots in an overtime loss to Chicago Saturday night it seems likely the Pens will face Woll tonight. His last two starts both ended in extra-time wins, including a shootout victory over Calgary on Nov. 10 and a 4-3 overtime win over the Wild on Nov. 19.

Player stats

(via hockeydb)

  • The Nylander brothers have faced each other in an NHL game four times in the past and are now set for a rematch. Alex Nylander has not yet recorded a point or made much of an impression in two games for the Pens this season. William Nylander is in a slightly different position: the Leafs’ Saturday night loss to the Chicago Blackhawks ended a 17-game, 12-goal, 27-point production streak for the winger.
  • Two-time Rocket Richard winner Auston Matthews is once again challenging for the NHL scoring lead with 14 goals in 18 games. But head coach Sheldon Keefe wasn’t happy with either his or Marner’s performances in a Saturday loss where they were both held off the scoresheet. Could a shuffling of the Leafs’ top line be on the horizon?

Getting to know the Penguins

Projected lines

FORWARDS

Jake Guentzel - Sidney Crosby - Drew O’Connor

Reilly Smith - Evgeni Malkin - Alex Nylander

Radim Zohorna - Lars Eller - Vinnie Hinostroza

Matt Nieto - Noel Acciari - Jeff Carter

DEFENSEMEN

Ryan Graves / Kris Letang

Marcus Pettersson / Erik Karlsson

Ryan Shea / John Ludvig

Goalies: Tristan Jarry (Alex Nedeljkovic started last night)

Potential scratches: Bryan Rust (injury), Jansen Harkins

IR: P.O. Joseph (lower body injury), Rickard Rakell (upper body injury), Chad Ruhwedel (lower body injury)

Season opening IR: Will Butcher

  • The Penguins got a power-play, twice, in the final minutes of a tied 2-2 game with the Sabres yesterday. How many of the fans watching had any sort of faith they would score at 5v4? Splitting up Crosby and Malkin, and adding in players like Zohorna, Carter and Nylander, didn’t spark anything last night. Swapping personnel isn’t making a dent in what seems like a structural issue, but Malkin told DK Pittsburgh Sports’ Taylor Haase after the game the new units just need more time:

“I mean, we need time. It’s a new power play for both units, and it’s not easy to play right away, you know? We had one practice before. We just need to work, everybody. It doesn’t matter who plays on the power play. Just play the right way, try and help the team to win. Go to the net, shoot the puck.”

It has now been two weeks and six games since the last time the Penguins scored on the man advantage.

  • Marcus Pettersson went down the runway after taking a high stick to the face in the final minutes of the Penguins’ loss last night. The Penguins will hope one of the team’s most reliable defenders is good to go tonight.
  • The Pens might be four points out of an Eastern Conference playoff spot, but zoom out and things look worse: