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At the Rink: Maple Leafs at Predators

by Robby Stanley /

NASHVILLE -- James Reimer will make his sixth straight start in goal for the Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday against the Nashville Predators (8 p.m. ET; TSN4, FS-TN).

Goaltender Jonathan Bernier, who practiced Wednesday, was on the ice Thursday morning and will be the backup. He has not played since sustaining a lower-body injury Oct. 31 against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

With Bernier available to serve as the backup, goaltender Antoine Bibeau was returned to Toronto of the American Hockey League.

The Maple Leafs will try to win consecutive games for the first time this season; they beat the Central Division-leading Dallas Stars 3-2 on Tuesday.

"That Dallas game was big for us," Maple Leafs forward Joffrey Lupul said. "That's kind of the way we've been losing games all year. And last game we found a way to win coming from behind on them and made some big plays down the stretch. It's a tough schedule for us right now. We've got a lot of games coming up and that can be a good thing if we can find a way to string some wins together."

Predators forward Colton Sissons made his season debut in a 7-5 win against the Ottawa Senators on Tuesday and scored a goal. Sissons was sent to Milwaukee of the American Hockey League to start the regular season but felt like he made a good impression in training camp.

"I felt like I showed that I belonged in the NHL for sure," Sissons said. "Obviously there's a number of things that go into it. If I need to spend a little bit more time in the minors and just wait for my call like I did the other day, so be it."

Nashville defenseman Shea Weber will play in his 700th NHL game Thursday. Weber had his 150th NHL goal and 400th point against Ottawa.

Here are the projected lineups:


James van Riemsdyk - Nazem Kadri - Leo Komarov

Shawn Matthias - Tyler Bozak - PA Parenteau

Daniel Winnik - Nick Spaling - Joffrey Lupul

Michael Grabner - Byron Froese - Peter Holland

Jake Gardiner - Dion Phaneuf

Matt Hunwick - Morgan Rielly

Scott Harrington - Roman Polak

James Reimer

Jonathan Bernier

Injured: Nathan Horton (back), Stephane Robidas (groin), Petter Granberg (Achilles)

Scratched: Frank Corrado, Martin Marincin, Brad Boyes


Filip Forsberg - Mike Fisher - James Neal

Colin Wilson - Mike Ribeiro - Craig Smith

Miikka Salomaki - Calle Jarnkrok - Cody Hodgson

Gabriel Bourque - Colton Sissons - Austin Watson

Roman Josi - Shea Weber

Mattias Ekholm - Ryan Ellis

Barret Jackman - Seth Jones

Pekka Rinne

Marek Mazanec

Injured: Eric Nystrom (upper body), Carter Hutton (upper body), Paul Gaustad (lower body)

Scratched: Anthony Bitetto, Victor Bartley

Status report: Winnik is expected to return to the lineup after missing one game because of a lower-body injury. … Reimer was the first goaltender off the ice for the Maple Leafs and is expected to start. … Rinne was the first goaltender off the ice for the Predators at the morning skate and is expected to start.

Who’s hot: Rielly has six points in the past five games and leads Toronto with 11 points. … Watson had one goal and two assists against Ottawa, his first multipoint game of the season.

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