Preview: Golden Knights at Maple Leafs
While the Toronto Maple Leafs have yet to taste defeat on the road, their home cooking has left a bit to be desired heading into Tuesday’s contest versus the visiting Vegas Golden Knights. The Maple Leafs have seen their offense take a significant dip in front of the home folks, registering just 2.0 goals per game at home (3-5-0) after recording a gaudy 5.33 on the road (6-0-0).
John Tavares’ numbers have followed suit, as he has mustered just four points (one goal, three assists) in eight games in Toronto as opposed to 12 (seven goals, five assists) in six road contests – including a goal and an assist in Saturday’s 5-0 romp in Pittsburgh. “A textbook win on the road, nice to get that feeling back. We have to try and have a little bit of that mindset (at home), simplify things maybe, trust who we are as a team and individually,” the 28-year-old Ontario native told reporters. While Toronto has prospered on the road, Vegas has struggled away from Sin City with losses in five of seven such contests heading into the opener of its four-game road trip. Marc-Andre Fleury turned aside all 34 shots he faced in Saturday’s 3-0 triumph over Carolina to record his 50th career shutout, although the three-time Stanley Cup winner is just 2-3-0 with a 2.81 goals-against average on the road.
TV: 7 p.m. ET, AT&T SportsNet Rocky Mountain (Vegas), TSN4 (Toronto)
ABOUT THE GOLDEN KNIGHTS (6-7-1): Erik Haula notched a two-assist performance for the second time in four games on Saturday and had a goal and an assist as Vegas split its season series with Toronto in 2017-18. Fellow forward William Karlsson tallied three times and set up another goal in the Golden Knights’ 6-3 romp over the Maple Leafs on New Year’s Eve. The 25-year-old Swede has yet to find the back of the net on the road this season, although he does have five of his team co-leading seven assists away from T-Mobile Arena.
ABOUT THE MAPLE LEAFS (9-5-0): Morgan Rielly tallied twice against the Penguins to take the lead among all NHL defensemen in goals (six) and points (18) this season. The 24-year-old already has matched his goal total from last season – in 62 fewer games, no less – and hopes his good fortune on the road translates to the rest of his team at home. “We feel good about the road, but it’s time we assert ourselves in our own building,” Rielly told reporters.
1. Vegas RW Ryan Reaves has scored four goals in his last seven games after failing to notch a point in each of his previous seven contests.
2. Toronto C Mitch Marner has seven assists in his last six contests.
3. Golden Knights D Shea Theodore is riding a three-game assist streak.