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Maple Leafs' Leipsic, Percy next up

Predators aim to extend eight-game road points streak

by Mike Brophy / NHL.com Correspondent

PREDATORS (28-21-11) at MAPLE LEAFS (20-27-10) 

TV: FS-TN, SN, NHL.TV 

TORONTO - Toronto Maple Leafs right wing Brendan Leipsic admits he'd like to do well against the organization that traded him. He will get the opportunity when the Maple Leafs play the Nashville Predators at Air Canada Centre on Tuesday.

Leipsic and defenseman Stuart Percy were recalled from Toronto of the American Hockey League after the Maple Leafs traded veterans Roman Polak and Nick Spaling to the San Jose Sharks on Monday. 

The Predators traded Leipsic, 21, to the Maple Leafs with Olli Jokinen and a 2015 first-round pick for Mike Santorelli and Cody Franson on Feb. 15, 2015. 

"It is exciting to get to play against Nashville," Leipsic said. "I didn't know how soon this chance would come, but I'm excited to play them and it definitely makes this game a little more special." 

Leipsic, selected in the third round (No. 89) by Nashville in the 2012 NHL Draft, scored in his only NHL game against the Vancouver Canucks on Feb. 13. He has 16 goals and 37 points in 49 games with the Marlies. 

"I just want to show that I have developed into a player that can, at some point, challenge for a full-time job next year," Leipsic said. "I want to play the same way I play with the Marlies and try to contribute. My game has grown a lot in the past year. I have always been good with the puck, but my play away from the puck is better." 

Percy, chosen in the first round (No. 25) in the 2011 draft, played well in nine games with the Maple Leafs last season and had three assists. 

"I just want to continue with my development at the NHL level," said Percy, 22. "It's tougher competition, the best players in the world. You look to just getting better every day and working towards becoming an everyday NHL player." 

Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock said Lepsic and Percy are being given opportunities to make an impression. 

"It's real simple here; if you play good you play more and if you don't play good you don't play as much," Babcock said. "With coaches it's all about trust and when they trust you they put you out more. If you are good without the puck then pretty soon you are getting more chances with the puck." 

The Predators are coming off a 2-1 shootout win against the Montreal Canadiens on Monday and established a record with points in eight straight road games (6-0-2). Nashville did not have a morning skate Tuesday. 

"It's tough to play in other buildings, so I think we just have a high sense of urgency in our room to come out and really have a good first period, and that's really been as simple as it gets," said Predators right wing Craig Smith, who scored the shootout winner. 

Here are the projected lineups: 

PREDATORS 

Calle Jarnkrok - Ryan Johansen - James Neal   
Filip Forsberg - Mike Ribeiro - Craig Smith   
Colin Wilson - Mike Fisher - Viktor Arvidsson   
Miikka Salomaki - Paul Gaustad - Austin Watson   

Roman Josi - Shea Weber  
Mattias Ekholm - Ryan Ellis   
Anthony Bitetto - Petter Granberg  

Carter Hutton
Pekka Rinne

Injured: Barret Jackman (upper body), Eric Nystrom (broken foot), Gabriel Bourque (upper body) 
Scratched: Cody Bass  

MAPLE LEAFS 

Michael Grabner - Nazem Kadri - Brendan Leipsic 
Colin Greening - Mark Arcobello - PA Parenteau 
Daniel Winnik - Peter Holland - Brad Boyes  
Josh Leivo - Byron Froese - Rich Clune  

Viktor Loov - Stuart Percy 
Morgan Rielly - Martin Marincin  
Jake Gardiner - Frank Corrado  

James Reimer  
Jonathan Bernier  

Injured: Stephane Robidas (lower body), Joffrey Lupul (middle body), James van Riemsdyk (foot fracture), Jared Cowen (hip tightness), Josh Leivo (upper body), Tyler Bozak (upper body), Matt Hunwick (lower body). 
Scratched: None 
Suspended: Leo Komarov  

Status report: Bozak participated in the morning skate, but Babcock said he is still not ready to play in games. … Cowen, who has yet to play for the Maple Leafs, continues to skate and rehabilitate an injured hip. 

Who's hot: Boyes has assists in each of his past three games and is on a five-game points streak. …Parenteau has two goals and four points in four games…Arcobello has three goals and four points in four games. … Neal has assists in back-to-back games and points in four of his past six.

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