Who:Florida Panthers (13-13-6) at Toronto Maple Leafs (22-10-2)
What: Cats on the prowl in Canada
Where: Scotiabank Arena Toronto, Ontario Canada (chilly)
When: December 20th, 2018 7PM EST
Why: To beat an Original Six team
Panthers Injuries – Jamie McGinn (back), Derek Mackenzie (shoulder), Vincent Trocheck (ankle), Nick Bjugstad (upper body).
The Florida Panthers seek to stay hot in the frozen tundra of Toronto Thursday when they face the Maple Leafs. It should be an entertaining game as it typically is with these two, Florida defeated Toronto Dec. 15th 4-3 in overtime. In goal for the Panthers will be Roberto Luongo (7-5-1, 2.95 GAA, .906 SV%) as the Cats look for another impressive road win against an excellent Toronto team.
Mitch Marner leads the Maple Leafs with 44 points on nine goals and 35 assists. Like the Panthers’ Keith Yandle, Toronto also has a defenseman that contributes in the offensive zone. Morgan Reilly is second on the team with 36 points (11 goals, 25 assists) and has been playing excellent at both ends of the ice recently.
Toronto is second in the NHL with 22 wins and 46 points, they also hold the same ranking with 124 goals scored. Their power play and penalty kill are middle of the pack, if Florida has an upper hand anywhere it is with the man advantage. Sasha Barkov and Jonathan Huberdeau have been the catalysts lately along with Evgenii Davodov. Look for Mike Hoffman to get it going soon, after an impressive run early in the season he has cooled off considerably.
The Maple Leafs are ninth in the NHL allowing only 94 goals on the year. Florida must make the most of their chances and keep the shots flying.
A win like this on the road would be a huge boost for the Panthers.
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