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NHL Preview: Toronto Maple Leafs (5-2-0) at Nashville Predators (3-4-0)


LAST GAME Score: Toronto 4 at Dallas 1 Date: Thursday, October 26, 2023 TOR Goals: Rielly, Marner, Bertuzzi (PP), Tavares (EN) DAL Goals: Marchment TOR Goaltender: Woll, 31/32, 969 SV% DAL Goaltender: Wedgewood, 20/23, .870 SV% TOR Power Play: 1-for-4 TOR Penalty Kill: 2-for-2 Player Notes: – Morgan Rielly scored for Toronto at 9:49 of the first period and added the primary assist on Bertuzzi’s power play goal. Rielly has posted four points (2G, 2A) through his last two games and marked his third multi-point game of the season. – Mitch Marner scored the game-winning goal for the Maple Leafs at 18:07 of the second period. Marner has recorded a point in consecutive games (1G, 1A). With the 560th point of his NHL career, Marner tied Ted Kennedy for ninth on the franchise all-time list for most points. – Tyler Bertuzzi scored on a Maple Leafs power play opportunity at 5:08 of the third period. Bertuzzi has recorded a point in back-to-back games (1G, 1A). – John Tavares capitalized on the Stars’ empty net at 19:49 of the third period. Tavares has scored in three-consecutive games and extended his point streak to seven games where he has posted 11 points (4G, 7A). – William Nylander posted the primary assist on Rielly’s goal. Nylander extended his point streak to seven games where he has posted 11 points (5G, 6A). – Per NHL Stats, Nylander and Tavares became the seventh and eighth (respectively) players in franchise history “with a season-opening point streak of seven or more contests, joining Lanny McDonald (8 GP in 1976-77), John Anderson (8 GP in 1982-83), Frank Mahovlich (8 GP in 1961-62), Babe Dye (7 GP in 1921-22), Doug Gilmour (7 GP in 1993-94) and Auston Matthews (7 GP in 2018-19).” – Auston Matthews posted the primary assist on Marner’s goal. Matthews has posted three points (1G, 2A) through his last two games. – Joseph Woll stopped 31 of 32 shots he faced in Thursday’s win. Woll has allowed one or fewer goals against in three-consecutive games played.

TONIGHT’S GAME 2023-24 Matchups vs. Nashville: First of Two 2022-23 Record vs. Nashville: 2-0-0 Toronto Season Record: 5-2-0 Toronto Road Record: 3-1-0

TONIGHT’S STORYLINES The Maple Leafs are set to take on the Nashville Predators tonight at Bridgestone Arena in the first of two games between the clubs this season. The Maple Leafs have won back-to-back games against the Predators while capturing a win in seven of their last 10 meetings. The Maple Leafs are skating in their fifth and final game of a five-game road trip (3-1-0), the longest road trip of the season for the team. The club has won three-consecutive games on the road and are tied for fourth in the league with the most road wins (3).

RECENT TRANSACTIONS October 27, 2023 Defenceman William Lagesson has been recalled from the Toronto Marlies (AHL). Forward Fraser Minten has been reassigned to the Kamloops Blazers (WHL).

THE MAN ADVANTAGE IN 2023-24 Power Play: 8/24 (33.3%) Power Play Goal Leader: 3 – Matthews Power Play Point Leader: 3 – Matthews (3G), Marner (1G, 2A), Nylander (1G, 2A), Rielly (1G, 2A), Tavares (3A) 2022-23 Power Play: 64/246 (26.0%)

ON THE PK IN 2023-24 Penalty Kill: 17/22 (77.3%) Shorthanded Goal Leader: N/A Shorthanded Point Leader: N/A 2022-23 Penalty Kill: 203/248 (81.9%)

FAST FACTS Saturday games 3rd of 25 (13 home, 12 road) Back-to-Backs played 0 of 13 Record in first game of back-to-back 0-0-0 Record in second game of back-to-back 0-0-0 October games 8th of 9 (4 home, 5 road)



− The Predators are 14-13-(1)-2 all-time against the Maple Leafs, including a 6-6-(0)-1 record at Bridgestone Arena. − This is the first of two matchups between Nashville and Toronto in 2023-24; it is the first of two at home. − The Predators are 1-4-0 in their last five games against the Maple Leafs; they are 3-6-1 in their last 10; and 2-3-0 in their last five at home. − Nashville went 0-2-0 in two games against Toronto last season. Despite third-period goals from Cody Glass and Tyson Barrie, the Predators fell to the Maple Leafs, 3-2, in their last meeting on March 26 at Bridgestone Arena. − In 2018-19, the Predators shut out the Maple Leafs in both of their two meetings. Nashville became the second team in NHL history to sweep a season series with the Maple Leafs (minimum two games) with shutout wins in each game (also: Philadelphia in 1992-93). − On Nov. 18, 2014, 15 Preds skaters reached the scoresheet, led by Taylor Beck’s two goals and an assist, as Nashville tied a franchise record for goals in a game, topping Toronto 9-2 at Scotiabank Arena.

NOTABLES vs. TORONTO − Filip Forsberg broke David Legwand’s record for most goals in Predators history by scoring his 211th on March 19, 2022 against Toronto. He owns eight goals and 13 points in 13 career games vs. the Maple Leafs. − Tyson Barrie has 12 points (2g-10a) in 21 career games vs. Toronto. Barrie played in 70 games for the Maple Leafs in 2019- 20, recording 39 points (5g-34a). − Ryan O’Reilly played the final 13 games of the 2022-23 regular season with the Maple Leafs, where he had four goals and 11 points. He added nine points (3g-6a) in 11 postseason games. − Luke Evangelista (Toronto), O’Reilly (Clinton) and Philip Tomasino (Mississauga) are Ontario natives. − Maple Leafs forward Calle Jarnkrok skated in 508 games for Nashville from 2013-21, tallying 211 points (94g-117a).

LAST TIME OUT − Vancouver Canucks 3, Nashville Predators 2 – Oct. 24 (Bridgestone Arena) − NSH goals: Sissons (4), Sherwood (2) − VAN goals: Mikheyev (1), Di Giuseppe (1), Hoglander – GWG (2) − Goaltenders: NSH – Saros (L, 21/24); VAN – Demko (W, 16/18) − Power plays: NSH 0-3; VAN 0-1 − Notes: Nashville was outshot (24-18) for the first time this season… The Predators did not commit a penalty until 16:44 of the third period (Evangelista, interference)… Colton Sissons scored his fourth goal of the season, tying him with Tommy Novak for the team lead… In just seven games, Sissons is one-third of the way to his goal total of 12 from last season… Novak assisted on Kiefer Sherwood’s goal to give him four points (3g-1a) in his last four games… Sherwood scored to give him goals in consecutive games for the third time in his NHL career (last: April 13-14, 2023; 3g)… Alexandre Carrier blocked a game-high six shots… Filip Forsberg led the Predators in shots (4) and hits (5).

INJURY REPORT Player Designation Dates Missed Games Missed Luke Schenn Lower Body – IR Oct. 12-24 6 Cody Glass Lower Body Oct. 21-24 2 Total man-games lost: 8 Individual man-games lost: Schenn – 6; Glass – 2 OVERALL (30 GP) 14-13-(1)-2 HOME (13 GP) 6-6-(0)-1 ROAD (17 GP) 8-7-(1)-1

LAST MEETING March 26, 2023 at NSH (L, 3-2) PLAYOFFS Never Met

ON THE ATTACK − Through seven games, the Predators are third in the NHL in expected goal percentage (5-on-5) at 56.9 percent per Nashville is also tied for fifth in high-danger shots for (17) and is eighth in expected goals for per 60 minutes (2.60). − Nashville is tied for ninth in shots on goal per game (32). The Predators’ 224 SOG are their third-most through the first seven games of an NHL season in franchise history (233 in both 2019-20 and 2021-22). − Filip Forsberg is tied for third among all NHL skaters in shot attempts with 64, trailing only Colorado’s Nathan MacKinnon (80) and Boston’s David Pastrnak (65); Roman Josi is tied for 17th (51). − Among defense pairs who have spent at least 80 minutes together at 5-on-5, Alexandre Carrier and Ryan McDonagh are second in the NHL in expected goals percentage at 64.8 percent (per − Per, Nashville’s forward line of Forsberg-O’Reilly-Parssinen leads the NHL in expected goals for percentage at 72.2 percent (among forward lines with at least 45 minutes of ice time together).

QUICK HITS − The Predators went 16-10-2 (34 points) in their final 28 games of the 2022-23 regular season. Their 34 points in that time span were the ninth-most in the NHL and helped the team come as close as one point behind Winnipeg for the final Western Conference playoff spot. − The Predators scored the first goal of the game 46 times in 2022-23, tied for the fifth-most times in the NHL. − Nashville had 24 wins in one-goal games last season, the third-most in the NHL behind only Carolina (25) and Vegas (25). − The Predators killed off 82.6 percent of their penalties in 2022-23, tied for the fourth-best mark in the NHL. It was the team’s best penalty kill percentage since 2011-12 (83.6). − During the offseason, the Predators hired Pekka Rinne and Mark Borowiecki to positions within the hockey operations department. Rinne, whose No. 35 is the only retired number in franchise history, was named European Development Coach and Scout on June 26; Borowiecki, who retired as a player in May, was named Pro Development Coach on July 2. − On the business side, the Predators announced on July 14 that Chief Operating Officer Michelle Kennedy would assume the additional titles of President and Alternate Governor. Sean Henry remains with the organization as CEO.

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