Big names to miss Leafs, Preds tilt
TORONTO -- Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Frederik Andersen was at practice Tuesday after leaving the game against the Anaheim Ducks on Monday night in the second period with a jaw injury.
It has yet to be determined whether Andersen will play against the Nashville Predators Wednesday night at the Air Canada Centre.
"We'll see," Andersen said.
The Predators know they will be without left winger Filip Forsberg, who is sitting out the second game of a three-game league suspension for a late hit on the New York Rangers' Jimmy Vesey in the Nashville win Saturday night.
As for the Maple Leafs, Curtis McElhinney replaced Andersen Monday in a game they went on to defeat Anaheim 7-4. Meanwhile, the Predators won their third game in a row, coming back to defeat the New York Islanders 5-4 in overtime on Monday.
Andersen was hit by a skate by Anaheim's Corey Perry, who was upended when he cut through the crease.
"It could have been a lot worse," Andersen said Tuesday. "It was a good uppercut to the jaw."
He had some whiplash symptoms and a sore jaw but passed concussion protocol during the game.
"He has to go to the net," Andersen said. "I know at the last minute, he tried to get out of the way and his body was already past me. His skate accidentally catches me in the jaw. That's what happens sometimes when you go to the net."
The Maple Leafs sent rookie defenseman Andreas Borgman, a recent healthy scratch, to the Toronto Marlies of the American Hockey League on Monday, another indication of how well defenseman Travis Dermott has played since he was promoted a month ago.
"We just decided we have three weeks until the (NHL trade) deadline," Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock said. "We can let Borgy get lots of ice time. He's part of the plan. We didn't think Dermott was ready at the start of the year."
This will be the first meeting between the teams. Their next meeting will be March 22 in Nashville.
The win Monday was the league-leading fifth time this season that Toronto has scored at least seven goals in a game.
The Maple Leafs (31-19-5) sit third in the Atlantic Division and are 6-2-2 in their past 10 games. They are 15-8-2 at home.
The Predators (32-12-7) entered Tuesday tied for lead in the Central Division with the Winnipeg Jets, but had played two fewer games. They are 8-1-1 in their past 10 games and are 14-7-4 on the road.
Nashville left winger Kevin Fiala scored twice in the first period Monday for his third multi-goal outing in his past seven games and the second in a row. His 17 goals tie him for the team lead with left winger Viktor Arvidsson.
"The whole game we had a good mindset," said defenseman Roman Josi, the Nashville team captain, who scored the overtime winner. "We had a lot of shots, got a lot of pucks to the net. We had a lot of chances, but just couldn't get a lot of goals. In the third we just stayed with it, (Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne) made a couple of unbelievable saves."
The Predators confirmed their believe in themselves that they can win any game.
"You've just got to believe," said center Ryan Johansen, who tied the game Monday with 43 seconds left in the third period. "Whenever you're playing a good team, you know they're never out of the game, and that's how we feel our opponents look at us. That's how we look at each other in this room. ... There is a big belief in here that we can always get the job done."
"We're a confident group in here with the lineup we put on the ice," left winger Austin Watson said. "Not having the ability to have (Forsberg) for the next couple games gives a chance for guys to step up again and take on those minutes. We'll be all right. "
Updated February 6, 2018