MAPLE LEAFS (4-4-1) at BLUE JACKETS (4-5-0)
TV: SNO, FS-O
Season series: The Columbus Blue Jackets won all three games against the Toronto Maple Leafs last season by a combined score of 13-3, including a 5-2 victory in Toronto's lone visit to Nationwide Arena. The Maple Leafs have not defeated the Blue Jackets since Nov. 3, 2011.
Maple Leafs team scope: Jonathan Bernier has started four straight games in goal for Toronto, but his 10-save shutout Tuesday night was one of the least-taxing efforts of his career. The Maple Leafs have scored 10 goals in their past three games after managing one in back-to-back losses to the Detroit Red Wings on Oct. 17-18. The power play is struggling: Toronto has one power-play goal in 25 chances since starting the season with five extra-man goals in three games. Phil Kessel has five goals in seven games and leads the team; the line of Kessel, James van Riemsdyk and Tyler Bozak has 13 of Toronto's 25 on the season. The Maple Leafs recalled rookie defenseman Stuart Percy, who had three points in seven games before his demotion to the American Hockey League, to join the team on this road trip.
Blue Jackets team scope: Columbus may have yielded three goals in three games to Toronto last season, but that was with Sergei Bobrovsky in net in each one. Bobrovsky will not play in this game because of a broken finger. The 2013 Vezina Trophy winner had played in the first eight games of the season before Curtis McElhinney made his first start since Oct. 18 in a 5-2 home loss to the Ottawa Senators on Tuesday. Bobrovsky is not alone on the injured list for the Blue Jackets, and while they are a deep team this rash of ailments could be tough to overcome. Though top young defenseman Ryan Murray is back from injury, eight other regulars (including defenseman James Wisniewski and forwards Nathan Horton, Brandon Dubinsky and Artem Anisimov) are expected to miss this game.
|J. van Riemsdyk||9||4||2||6||+1||11||0||1|