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At the Rink: Coyotes at Maple Leafs

by Mike Brophy

TORONTO -- Arizona Coyotes forward Max Domi hopes the familiarity of being at Air Canada Centre will help him Monday against the Toronto Maple Leafs (7:30 p.m. ET; TVA Sports, FS-A, TSN4).

The Toronto native, whose father Tie Domi played for the Maple Leafs, is tied for the rookie lead in scoring with Connor McDavid of the Edmonton Oilers at nine points apiece. Max Domi grew up attending his father's games and hanging out at ACC.

"It's exciting for sure," Domi said. "It is something I have had in the back of my mind my whole life, but at the same time it's just another game and I'm trying not to get too high or too low here."

Domi said he recalls attending Maple Leafs morning skates as a youngster and hanging out with the likes of Bryan McCabe, Mats Sundin and Gary Roberts. He used to go on the ice after the players were finished their workouts and take shots on goalies Curtis Joseph and Ed Belfour. He said when his father was playing games, he would hang out in the wives' room playing mini sticks.

"I was obviously a Leafs fan growing up, so just to be a part of the atmosphere here was awesome," Domi said.

Domi, who has three goals and six assists, is tied for the Coyotes lead in scoring with center Martin Hanzal, who has nine assists.

Toronto coach Mike Babcock said he doesn't know much about Domi as a pro, but was impressed with the rookie when he watched him play junior.

"Every time I have seen him play, he plays with tenacity," Babcock said. "He seems to have a confidence about him. I thought he was very good for the World Junior team last year playing with a lot of energy."

James Reimer will start in goal for the Maple Leafs, his first action since playing the Columbus Blue Jackets on Oct. 16. Reimer is 1-0-1 with a 2.91 goals-against average and .890 save percentage and said he likes the effort he has seen from his teammates so far even if the results haven't been there.

"These guys are working hard and doing a lot of good things," Reimer said. "They are getting chances and goals will go in. As far as goaltenders we just worry about what we can do and keep it tight. At the same time you can't put too much pressure on yourself because then you can't perform. You just go out there and trust in your preparation and hope that is good enough on any given night."

While the Maple Leafs have been generating plenty of chances -- they outshot the Montreal Canadiens 52-27 in a 5-3 loss Saturday -- Reimer said he doesn't have the answer as to how Toronto can score more goals.

"I'm not a forward and I haven't scored very many goals in this League, so I don't know," Reimer said. "We're doing the right things and getting pucks and bodies to the net, and when you do that goals will go in. That's the way you can consistently score goals no matter what, so if we stick with it I think pucks will start going in."

Reimer said he respects the Coyotes attack and has heard plenty of good things about the rookie duo of Domi and Anthony Duclair, who has five goals and seven points.

"They seem to be speedy guys who can get into space and they have good shots," Reimer said. "I have to keep an eye out for them and make sure I'm ready, because it seems like they can make plays and find each other in open space."

Here are the projected lineups:


Tobias RiederTyler GaudetMikkel Boedker

Max DomiMartin HanzalAnthony Duclair

Kyle ChipchuraBrad RichardsonShane Doan

Jordan MartinookBoyd GordonSteve Downie

Oliver Ekman-LarssonMichael Stone

Klas DahlbeckZbynek Michalek

Nicklas GrossmannConnor Murphy

Mike Smith

Anders Lindback

Injured: Joe Vitale, Antoine Vermette

Scratched: John Scott, Stefan Elliott


James van Riemsdyk - Nazem Kadri - Leo Komarov

Daniel WinnikMark Arcobello - Joffrey Lupul

Shawn MatthiasPeter Holland - Brad Boyes

Michael Grabner - Byron Froese - PA Parenteau

Matt Hunwick - Dion Phaneuf

Scott Harrington - Morgan Rielly

Roman Polak - Martin Marincin

James Reimer

Jonathan Bernier

Injured: Tyler Bozak (lower body), Jake Gardiner (upper body), Stephane Robidas (lower body)

Scratched: Nick Spaling

Status report: Vermette missed the game Saturday in Ottawa, ending a streak of 482 consecutive games played. He is not expected to play on Monday. … Babcock said Spaling is not playing so he can get an opportunity to see the other centers compete.

Who's hot: Boedker scored three goals against the Senators on Saturday. He has four goals in his past three games. … The Maple Leafs are averaging 33.9 shots per game, second-best in the NHL. … Van Reimsdyk had a goal and an assist against Montreal. … Bozak and Gardiner skated Sunday, but are not expected to play. … Domi has assists in three consecutive games.

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