Jonathan Bernier gets the crease for the Leafs tonight as Toronto looks to rebound from a tough loss on Saturday night to the St. Louis Blues. Nazem Kadri will be a healthy scratch after arriving late to the team's practice on Sunday. He is expected to return to the lineup on Wednesday. Zach Sill will play centre in his place.
The Leafs and Islanders have played high energy affairs to this point with each team taking a victory. This will be the first matchup between the two in Toronto.
"I'm a big fan of Tavares and what he brings to the table," said Leafs interim coach Peter Horachek. "They [the Islanders] roll their D, they all get involved, they move the puck very well, they have grit in their lineup. They made believers out of everybody around."
Michal Neuvirth will get the start in goal for the Isles while deadline acquisition Tyler Kennedy will make his debut.
The Leafs are coming off of a 6-1 loss on Saturday night to the St. Louis Blues, which brought their record in the last 10 games to 3-6-1.
Toronto is 18-14-0 at home this season.
The Isles have struggled of late, dropping three of their last four games. On Sunday they lost to the Panthers by a 4-3 score in Sunrise by way of the shootout. They are 5-2-3 in their last 10.
The Islanders are 19-12-4 on the road this season.
The Islanders edged the Leafs thanks to a strong first period effort at Nassau Coliseum in the final matchup between the two at the storied rink. Anders Lee scored a pair to pace the Isles while Jaroslav Halak was strong in goal to earn the win. Jonathan Bernier took the loss for the Leafs.
The Leafs and Islanders have split the season series to-date with each winning a game on Long Island.
ONE TO WATCH
The 21-year-old Mississauga, Ont., native will take on his former team tonight in the midst of a solid sophomore season for the Islanders. He is second on his team in scoring behind John Tavares with 42 points and has been a big contributor to the Isles' potent depth.
Strome has been a massive possession booster for the Islanders despite playing relatively limited ice time behind the team's primary unit. The Isles have also had the majority of scoring chances with him on the ice.
He possesses strong offensive instincts, speed and hands to create openings for linemates. He also plays with an edge down low and on the forecheck which makes him a tough matchup for defenders. Look for his line to cause havoc in all three zones.
Here are tonight's projected lineups for the Maple Leafs and Islanders...
Toronto Maple Leafs
21 van Riemsdyk - 42 Bozak - 81 Kessel
19 Lupul - 24 Holland - 20 Booth
47 Komarov - 23 Smith - 18 Panik
15 Lindstrom - 22 Sill - 67 Kozun
51 Gardiner - 3 Phaneuf
44 Rielly - 8 Granberg
33 Erixon - 2 Brewer
New York Islanders
27 Lee - 91 Tavares - 12 Bailey
86 Kulemin - 51 Nielsen - 18 Strome
40 Grabner - 29 Nelson - 26 Kennedy
17 Martin - 53 Cizikas - 15 Clutterbuck
2 Leddy - 55 Boychuk
44 De Haan - 3 Hamonic
14 Hickey - 11 Visnovsky