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Maple Leafs at Jets preview

Marleau debuts for Toronto against Mason, Winnipeg

by Scott Billeck / NHL.com Correspondent

MAPLE LEAFS (0-0-0) at JETS (0-0-0)

7 p.m. ET; SN, TVA Sports, NHL.TV

 

The Game

Forward Patrick Marleau will make his debut with the Toronto Maple Leafs after playing 19 seasons with the San Jose Sharks. Marleau signed a three-year, $18.75 million contract on July 2 and scored two goals in four preseason games. The Maple Leafs are 2-2-1 in their past five regular-season openers and have not qualified for the Stanley Cup Playoffs in back-to-back seasons since 2003-04.

Goaltender Steve Mason will start his first game for the Winnipeg Jets, who have won their past four openers. Mason, who signed a two-year contract (average annual value $4.1 million) on July 1 after five seasons with the Philadelphia Flyers, was 1-1-1 with 2.31 goals-against average and.918 save percentage in three preseason starts.

 

Players to watch

Maple Leafs forward Auston Matthews is the reigning Calder Trophy winner after leading NHL rookies in goals (40) and points (69). The No. 1 pick in the 2016 NHL Draft, had seven points (five goals, two assists) in four preseason games.

Jets forward Patrik Laine, the No. 2 pick in 2016, was the runner-up in Calder voting after his 64 points (36 goals, 28 assists) were second behind Matthews. He had eight points (five goals, three assists) in four preseason games, including four goals on the power play. 

 

They said it

"The League is always adjusting to you, so you got to make adjustments back. Now that we have a full year under our belts, teams obviously know our strengths and our weaknesses, and play us more to a structured game and limit our chances. It's obviously our job to adjust back." -- Matthews 

"I'm really excited to get going here, I think everybody is. It's Game 1 of 82, we just have to handle it one game at a time. But I think we're all ready to put last season and the summer behind us and get going." -- Mason

 

Maple Leafs projected lineup

Zach Hyman -- Auston Matthews -- William Nylander

James van Riemsdyk -- Tyler Bozak -- Mitchell Marner

Patrick Marleau -- Nazem Kadri -- Leo Komarov

Matt Martin -- Eric Fehr -- Connor Brown

Morgan Rielly -- Ron Hainsey

Jake Gardiner -- Nikita Zaitsev

Andreas Borgman -- Connor Carrick

Frederik Andersen

Curtis McElhinney

Scratched: Dominic Moore, Josh Leivo, Martin Marincin

Injured: None

 

Jets projected lineup 

Mathieu Perreault -- Mark Scheifele -- Blake Wheeler

Nikolaj Ehlers -- Bryan Little -- Patrik Laine

Shawn Matthias -- Adam Lowry -- Joel Armia

Marko Dano -- Andrew Copp -- Brandon Tanev

Josh Morrissey -- Jacob Trouba

Toby Enstrom -- Dustin Byfuglien

Dmitry Kulikov -- Tyler Myers

Steve Mason

Connor Hellebuyck

Scratched: Nic Petan, Ben Chiarot, Tucker Poolman

Injured: Matt Hendricks (lower body)

 

Status report

Ehlers signed a seven-year, $42 million contract Wednesday. ... Hendricks (lower body) was placed on injured reserve Tuesday, retroactive to Sept. 27. ... Borgman will make his NHL debut.

 

Stat pack 

The Jets had the No. 1 power play in the preseason (29.5 percent) with 13 of their 17 goals on the man-advantage. … Nylander had seven points (four goals, three assists) in four preseason games.

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