The Maple Leafs host the Washington Capitals tonight at Air Canada Centre. Here are the keys to grabbing another win at home.
Get the Power-Play Going
Toronto have just one power-play goal in their last six games. Tonight they are expected to have a whole new look in that department, using Nazem Kadri on the point for the Leafs top unit. The Leafs are currently 18th in the league with the man advantage. They were in the top third in that category before the last six games.
Limit Alexander Ovechkin
He’s had some of his best games against the Toronto Maple Leafs, scoring 49 points in 33 career games. When Steven Stamkos was at Air Canada centre, the Leafs didn’t allow him to get anywhere near the net. The same kind of backcheck will be required if the Leafs are to come out of Air Canada Centre with two points. Washington is 5-1-1 this seasom when Ovechkin scores a goal. They are 5-7-3 when he’s doesn’t.
Top Line Struggles
Phil Kessel and James van Riemsdyk have combined for only three points over the last four games. Both need to make a statement and judging by Washington’s style of play, there won’t be a lot of opportunities to do that. Washington has an NHL best 27.3 shots allowed per game. Randy Carlyle has said that Leafs aim to keep the opponents to 25 shots or less.