NY Islanders at Toronto
When: 7:00 PM ET, Thursday, February 22, 2018
Where: Air Canada Centre, Toronto, Ontario
The Toronto Maple Leafs have won 11 of their past 13 games overall to sit pretty in the standings while the New York Islanders reside on the outside of the postseason picture. The Maple Leafs aim to continue their torrid stretch and repeat a dominating performance in their last encounter versus the Islanders when the clubs tangle at Air Canada Centre on Thursday.
Frederik Anderson turned aside all 40 shots he faced in Tuesday's 1-0 victory over Florida, marking his fifth shutout of the season and first since his 28-save performance in a 5-0 rout of the visiting Islanders on Jan. 31. "We're going to play a hungry team with a lot on the line, who didn't have a good night here last time," Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock said Wednesday. New York surrendered three goals in a 4:12 stretch en route to a 5-3 loss to Minnesota, marking its seventh loss in 11 outings heading into a span of three straight on the road and seven of eight overall. "It was sort of bang, bang, bang," defenseman Thomas Hickey said. "You try to stop it at one, instead of three goals in a row. I talked about it last week, we have to get better at the swings and the momentum of hockey games."TV:
7 p.m. ET, MSG-Plus2 (New York), TSN4 (Toronto)ABOUT THE ISLANDERS (29-26-6):
Anders Lee scored versus the Wild to reach the 30-goal plateau for the second straight season and move within four of his career-high total. "You always want to try to build off of years prior and continue to strive to be better," the 27-year-old Lee said. "Last year was a good indication of what I'm capable of doing and I went into this summer knowing it was going to be that much harder to do it again." Captain John Tavares also has 30 goals and a team-best 64 points to remain above a point-per-game average, despite being limited to just two in his last five contests.
ABOUT THE MAPLE LEAFS (37-20-5):
Leo Komarov hasn't mirrored the success of his team during a 13-game stretch, scoring just one goal and setting up one other while playing on the fourth line. The alternate captain's struggles led one commentator to suggest that he should sleep upside down to change his luck. "I heard that," Komarov told TSN with a grin. "Someone said that. It hasn't really bounced my way. I mean, you could call it luck or bad luck, but you need to deserve it too and I just need to work hard and eventually it's going to go in sometimes."OVERTIME
1. Toronto C Auston Matthews has eight goals and eight assists in his past 15 games, including one of each in the first meeting with New York.
2. Islanders G Jaroslav Halak owns an 8-3-3 career mark versus the Maple Leafs.
3. Toronto's fourth-ranked penalty kill has thwarted 11 of 12 short-handed situations over the last seven games.PREDICTION:
Maple Leafs 4, Islanders 3
Stats and Records