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Match Preview: Maple Leafs vs. Flyers

by Chris Lund / Toronto Maple Leafs


TEAM UPDATES

The Leafs will have Dion Phaneuf back in the lineup as well as new addition Zach Sill as they get set for their third and final game against the Flyers tonight. Jonathan Bernier is slated to get the nod in goal after earning the win on Saturday night.

"I'm looking forward to getting back and playing with our group and trying to build on our last game," said Phaneuf. "I thought we played extremely well and I'm looking forward to being able to contribute."

Tonight's game will be the first on the schedule after Wednesday's trade, which sent Daniel Winnik to the Pittsburgh Penguins. Fans can expect to see Zach Sill play a fourth line role and get a look on the penalty kill.

"He's a character kid, plays hard, finishes his checks and has an edge to him," said Leafs interim coach Peter Horachek. "I know Pittsburgh liked him a lot as a person and as a player in the locker room."

"He's going to be a good character guy used on the fourth line that knows his role and can kill penalties as well."

The Flyers come into Thursday's game after losing their last outing by a 4-1 margin in Carolina. They have picked up points in 12 of their last 14 games and have beaten the Leafs in both meetings this season.

Goaltender Steve Mason is expected to be active for Thursday night but won't start as Rob Zepp gets the nod in goal. The Flyers will be desperate for a result as they sit four points out of a playoff position.

"We've got to find a way, find the right rhythm, find a way we want to play the game offensively and defensively," said Flyers forward Jakub Voracek. "I think that's what we did, even when we weren't winning we played some good hockey games."

RECENT RESULTS

The Leafs have been off since Saturday night after beating the Winnipeg Jets by a 4-3 score in overtime. The win brought their record to 2-7-1 in their last 10.

Toronto is 17-13-0 at Air Canada Centre this season.

The Flyers are 4-2-4 in their last 10 games. On Tuesday they dropped a 4-1 scoreline to the Carolina Hurricanes in Raleigh. Nicklas Grossmann scored the lone goal while Rob Zepp stopped 31 shots in the loss.

The Flyers are 9-16-6 on the road this season.

LAST MEETING

The Flyers edged the Leafs in a defensive affair in January, taking a 1-0 scoreline at Wells Fargo Center. Michael Del Zotto scored the lone goal of the affair and Steve Mason recorded a shutout. The Leafs outshot the Flyers by a 30-18 margin but couldn't solve Mason and earn the win.

The Flyers are 2-0-0 against the Leafs this season.

ONE TO WATCH

Wayne Simmonds

The Flyers made some waves this week, splitting up the pairing of Claude Giroux and Jakub Voracek on their top line, despite immense production from both this season. Wayne Simmonds will replace Voracek on Giroux's right wing.

Simmonds gives Giroux a mobile, physical option down the flank. He creates havoc down low with good forechecking instincts and can be difficult to contain in front of the goal with his combination of strength and aggression.

A big part of Simmonds' game is putting pucks on goal. Look for him to have plenty of opportunities to cash in playing alongside positive possession drivers and offensively gifted linemates in Giroux and Michael Raffl.

PROJECTED LINEUPS

Here are tonight's projected lineups for the Maple Leafs and Flyers...

Toronto Maple Leafs

Forwards

21 van Riemsdyk - 42 Bozak - 81 Kessel

19 Lupul - 43 Kadri - 18 Panik

47 Komarov - 11 Jokinen - 71 Clarkson

20 Booth - 24 Holland - 22 Sill

Defence

3 Phaneuf - 55 Holzer

44 Rielly - 46 Polak

51 Gardiner - 12 Robidas

Goaltenders

45 Bernier

34 Reimer

Philadelphia Flyers

Forwards

12 Raffl - 28 Giroux - 17 Simmonds

24 Read - 14 Couturier - 93 Voracek

25 White - 10 Schenn - 18 Umberger

76 VandeVelde - 78 Bellemare - 36 Rinaldo

Defence

55 Schultz - 32 Streit

15 Del Zotto - 5 Coburn

8 Grossmann - 47 MacDonald

Goaltenders

72 Zepp

35 Mason

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