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Preview: Panthers at Maple Leafs

Goalie James Reimer faces Toronto for first time since trade last season

by David Alter / Correspondent

PANTHERS (8-7-1) at MAPLE LEAFS (7-6-3)

7:30 p.m. ET; TSN4, FS-F, NHL.TV 


Panthers team scope

Florida Panthers goalie James Reimer, who spent six seasons with the Toronto Maple Leafs before he was traded to the San Jose Sharks on Feb. 27, will make his first career start against the Maple Leafs. "Obviously, the first time there's a lot of emotion playing against them," said Reimer, who signed a five-year contract with the Panthers as an unrestricted free agent this offseason. "Even still, the last couple of days, just walking around the city, you still remember a lot of the good times and [I] had some really good memories." Reimer, who was selected by Toronto in the 2006 NHL Draft (No. 99), is 2-2-1 with a 2.73 goals-against average and a .905 save percentage in six games this season. The Panthers are looking for a season-high third straight win and are coming off a 4-3 overtime victory against the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday.


Maple Leafs team scope

Centers Auston Matthews and Tyler Bozak missed the morning skate, but each will be in the lineup. "They were good enough to eat, they were good enough to be in the meetings so they can't be that bad," coach Mike Babcock said, when asked if they were feeling under the weather. Matthews is without a goal in his past 10 games and has two assists in that span. Defenseman Connor Carrick will return to the lineup after sitting out the past two games. "The big thing for him is he's not a huge man but he's an elite skater with a great brain and so he's got to do more with his stick... and just use his skill set," Babcock said. The Maple Leafs have won five of their past seven games (5-2-0) and are coming off a 6-2 win against the Nashville Predators on Tuesday. Toronto is 6-2-0 at Air Canada Centre.


Panthers projected lineup

Jonathan Marchessault -- Aleksander Barkov -- Jaromir Jagr

Jussi Jokinen -- Vincent Trocheck -- Reilly Smith

Seth Griffith -- Denis Malgin -- Colton Sceviour

Greg McKegg -- Derek MacKenzie -- Kyle Rau

Keith Yandle -- Jason Demers

Mark Pysyk -- Aaron Ekblad

Michael Matheson -- Alex Petrovic

James Reimer

Roberto Luongo

Scratched: Jared McCann, Shawn Thornton, Dylan McIlrath

Injured: Nick Bjugstad (upper-body), Jonathan Huberdeau (lower-body)


Maple Leafs projected lineup

Leo Komarov -- Nazem Kadri -- Connor Brown

James van Riemsdyk -- Tyler Bozak -- Mitchell Marner

Zach Hyman -- Auston Matthews -- William Nylander

Matt Martin -- Ben Smith -- Nikita Soshnikov

Morgan Rielly -- Nikita Zaitsev

Jake Gardiner -- Connor Carrick

Matt Hunwick -- Roman Polak

Frederik Andersen

Jhonas Enroth

Scratched: Peter Holland, Martin Marincin, Frank Corrado

Injured: None


Status report

Bjugstad, who has missed all 16 games this season, is getting closer to making his season debut. "Bjugstad should be back next week," Florida coach Gerard Gallant said. ... Griffith will play his first game against the Maple Leafs since he was claimed off waivers on Saturday. "It was up and down," Griffith said of his time in Toronto. "It's a good group of guys over there." ... He was a healthy scratch. Martin Marincin will be a healthy scratch on Thursday.


Who's hot

Malgin has four goals and six points in his past eight games. ... Yandle has six assists in his past eight games. ... Marner has five goals and nine points in his past six games.  

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