The red-hot Maple Leafs head to Dallas for an early heavy-weight battle with the Stars. Puck drop is scheduled for 8:38 p.m. EST.
Toronto enters tonight’s contest in second place in the Atlantic Division with a 15-5-6 record (36 points). The Leafs have been on a tear lately as well with an 8-0-3 record in its last 11 games. Toronto is led by William Nylander who has tallied 14 goals this season. Mitchell Marner’s 31 points top the Leafs in that category, but three ither Toronto skaters have at least 26 points on the year. Auston Matthews has tallied 28 points this season while Nylander and John Tavares have each tallied 26. Ilya Samsonov has been the Leafs number one when healthy this season. The Russian has a 7-2-0 record with a 2.09 goals against average and a .924 save percentage in nine games this season.
Dallas has been extremely surprising this season and sit in first place in the Central Division with a 14-6-5 record (33 points). The Stars are spearheaded by Jason Robertson. The 23-year-old has tallied an impressive 23 goals, 18 assists and 31 points in his first 25 games and brings a +/- of +15 into tonight’s game. Robertson’s 23 goals are best in the NHL while his 41 points are third best in the league. Jake Oettinger has picked up where he left off last season. The goaltender is 9-2-3 with a 2.51 GAA and a .917 SV% in 17 games this season.
Toronto has won three straight and four of five head-to-head matchups between these two teams, but the past two have been decided in overtime. That includes the first matchup between the teams this season. Tonight’s projected starting goaltenders are Samsonov for the Leafs and Oettinger for Dallas.