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Keys to the Game: Maple Leafs vs. Islanders

by David Alter / Toronto Maple Leafs

The Maple Leafs host the New York Islanders tonight at Air Canada Centre. Here are the Leafs’ three keys to a win.

Stop J.T.

John Tavares leads the NHL with 70 points and has been known to have good performances in Toronto. He registered three assists in his last appearance at Air Canada Centre, a 5-3 win in favour of the Islanders. Tavares is one point ahead of Alex Ovechkin in the chase for the Art Ross Trophy

Limit the shots

The Leafs must get the better chances on goal but also get the shot advantage over the Islanders. New York is second in the league with shots for per game (33.6) and seventh in the league in shots against per game (28.1). Winning the shot battle could make the difference for Toronto.

Special teams needs a fix

Toronto has had a difficult time all season when it comes to special teams. It hit a new all-time low on Saturday, giving up their 10th shorthanded goal which is most in the NHL. They’ve given up 12 power play goals in their last 39 penalty kill attempts and are just two for their last 29 power play opportunities. The special teams bleeding has to end. It’s been a large reason for the Leafs struggles as of late.

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