PANTHERS (12-17-5) at MAPLE LEAFS (17-15-3)
Last 10: Florida 6-4-0; Toronto 3-6-1
Tonight is the first of four times this season that we will see the Leafs play against the Florida Panthers.
Toronto swept the three-game series with Florida last year. James Reimer recorded the shutout the last time they faced each other.
According to Mark Osborne and Bob McGill suggested that Reimer would get the start tonight at home. Also defenceman Paul Ranger is expected to be scratched.
Tim Thomas is one of the newest faces on the Florida roster however will not see any playing time in Toronto; Florida is also on a season-high three-game winning streak with fellow veteran Scott Clemmensen in the net.
Clemmensen first reached the NHL in 2001-02 with the New Jersey Devils, but with Martin Brodeur firmly entrenched there, he played in just 28 games over his first six seasons. When Brodeur suffered the first major injury of his career in 2008-09, Clemmensen won 25 games and earned himself a free-agent contract with Florida.
Florida is only three wins behind Toronto in the standings.
This is the start of a three-game homestand for Toronto, which had its lead over the Ottawa Senators for fifth in the Atlantic cut to three points when it lost 3-1 at the Pittsburgh Penguins on Monday and the Senators claimed a 3-2 overtime win against the St. Louis Blues.
MORGAN REILLY’s FIRST
Morgan Rielly lifted the Maple Leafs into a 1-1 tie heading into the third when he scored his first NHL goal on a power play, but Sidney Crosby connected for the go-ahead goal and the Leafs couldn’t capitalize on a late 6-on-4 advantage with the goalie pulled before the Penguins iced it on a shorthanded empty-netter by Brandon Sutter.
“It’s a pretty nice feeling, but it’s always tough when your team loses,” Rielly said of his milestone. “You’re not overly happy after the game because of what the score was, but it’s pretty nice just to get it out of the way.”
Here is the video of his 1st NHL goal: http://video.mapleleafs.nhl.com/videocenter/console?catid=802&id=513012&lang=en
Who’s hot: Nick Bjugstad has goals in two of the past three games for the Panthers. … Nikolai Kulemin has goals in two of the past three games for the Maple Leafs.
Injury report: Florida defenseman Erik Gudbranson (lower body) left the game Saturday after the first period and forward Jonathan Huberdeau (foot) was out on the lineup. They are day-to-day. Thomas (lower body) and defensemen Ed Jovanovski (hip) and Matt Gilroy (lower body) are on injured reserve. … Toronto forwards Dave Bolland (ankle), Colton Orr (elbow) and Tyler Bozak (strained oblique) are on injured reserve.In case you missed it from Monday night, here is the bodycheck that may have made goaltender Jonathan Bernier a little more famous: