Despite coming away with a loss, the Montreal Canadiens saw good performances from several players versus the Pittsburgh Penguins on Thursday night. Alex Galchenyuk had a second straight two-assist night, Jonathan Drouin extended a points streak to three games, Artturi Lehkonen scored his fourth goal in four games, and Jacob de la Rose did an admirable job of keeping tabs on Sidney Crosby.
The young forwards go up against another team this evening looking to make noise in the post-season, heading to the Air Canada Centre to take on an offence that has been just as prolific as that of the defending Stanley Cup champions this season.
How to watch
Puck drop: 7:00 PM EDT / 4:00 PM PDT
In Canada: CBC, Sportsnet (English), TVA Sports (French)
In the US: NHL Network
Elsewhere: NHL.tv/NHL GameCentre Live, NHL Center Ice
Tale of the Tape
The Toronto Maple Leafs rank fifth in goals scored per game, at 3.27. Their production is even more impressive at five-on-five, ranking behind only the Eastern Conference-leading Tampa Bay Lightning in goals per 60 minutes at full strength.
With no player in the top 40 of league scoring, it has been a team effort for the Leafs this season. Toronto has eight players with at least 40 points, and four 20-goal-scorers. James van Riemsdyk had consistently produced at near a 30-goal pace over the previous three seasons, and has already set a new career high of 31 through 70 games in 2017-18. Mitch Marner leads the way in the points department, with 19 goals and 40 assists to date.
Depite missing 18 games, Auston Matthews sits third on the team in points, and just three goals back of van Riemsdyk. While 2016’s first overall pick is nearing a return after recovering from a shoulder injury, he will not be in the lineup tonight.
For Canadiens fans, the most notable name in the Leafs’ lineup will be Tomas Plekanec. It’s the first time in his career he will be competing against the Canadiens after being moved at the trade deadline. He has yet to register a point with his new team, but you can bet he will be eager to snap that seven-game drought tonight.