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Maple Leafs at Avalanche preview

Barrie of Toronto, Kadri of Colorado each set to face former team for first time

by Rick Sadowski / Independent Correspondent

MAPLE LEAFS (10-10-4) at AVALANCHE (13-7-2)

7 p.m. ET; CBC, SN1, SNO, SNP, ALT, NHL.TV


The Game

Tyson Barrie, Alexander Kerfoot and Nazem Kadri each will play his first game against his former team when the Toronto Maple Leafs visit the Colorado Avalanche at Pepsi Center on Saturday.

The Maple Leafs acquired Barrie, the highest-scoring defenseman in Avalanche/Quebec Nordiques history, with forward Kerfoot and a sixth-round pick in the 2020 NHL Draft in a trade with Colorado for center Kadri, defenseman Calle Rosen and a third-round pick in the 2020 draft.

Barrie scored his first goal of the season in a 3-1 win at the Arizona Coyotes on Thursday, when the Maple Leafs ended a six-game winless streak (0-5-1) in the debut of coach Sheldon Keefe, who took over on Wednesday after Mike Babcock was fired.

Barrie, who played eight seasons for the Avalanche, has eight points (one goal, seven assists) in 24 games for Toronto; Kerfoot, who played two seasons for Colorado, has eight points (five goals, three assists) in 21 games.

Kadri has 15 points (seven goals, eight assists) in 22 games for the Avalanche, who are 5-2-0 in their past seven games. Kadri played his first 10 NHL seasons with the Maple Leafs.


Players to watch

Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews has 12 points (four goals, eight assists) in his past nine games.

Avalanche defenseman Cale Makar has 14 points (six goals, eight assists) in his past eight games.


They said it

"[Colorado] is such a beautiful spot and a great place to live. I had a lot of great years there and met some wonderful people. I'm excited to go back and see everyone." -- Maple Leafs defenseman Tyson Barrie

"I'm pretty happy with what our group's done. For the most part we're competing to win every night. All things considered, I think we're in a pretty good place." -- Avalanche coach Jared Bednar 


Maple Leafs projected lineup

Andreas Johnsson -- Auston Matthews -- William Nylander

Ilya Mikheyev -- John Tavares -- Zach Hyman

Alexander Kerfoot -- Jason Spezza -- Kasperi Kapanen

Pierre Engvall -- Frederik Gauthier -- Nicholas Shore

Morgan Rielly -- Cody Ceci

Jake Muzzin -- Justin Holl

Travis Dermott -- Tyson Barrie

Frederik Andersen

Kasimir Kaskisuo

Scratched: Martin Marincin, Nic Petan, Dmytro Timashov

Injured: Mitchell Marner (ankle), Trevor Moore (shoulder)


Avalanche projected lineup

Andre Burakovsky -- Nathan MacKinnon -- Joonas Donskoi

Valeri Nichushkin -- Nazem Kadri -- J.T. Compher

Matt Nieto -- Pierre-Edouard Bellemare -- T.J. Tynan

A.J. Greer -- Vladislav Kamenev -- Logan O'Connor

Samuel Girard -- Erik Johnson

Ryan Graves -- Cale Makar

Nikita Zadorov -- Ian Cole

Philipp Grubauer

Pavel Francouz

Scratched: Mark Barberio

Injured: Matt Calvert (head), Tyson Jost (upper body), Gabriel Landeskog (lower body), Mikko Rantanen (lower body), Colin Wilson (lower body)


Status report

Rantanen practiced Friday for the first time since he was injured Oct. 21, but no target date has been set for his return. … The Avalanche assigned forward Jayson Megna to Colorado of the American Hockey League.  


Stat pack

Keefe can become the fourth Toronto coach to win his first two games, and would join Pat Quinn (3-0-0 in 1998-99), George O'Donoghue (2-0-0 in 1921-22) and Dan Maloney (2-0-0 in 1984-85). … Burakovsky has eight points (five goals, three assists) in a four-game point streak. … MacKinnon has 10 points (four goals, six assists) in his past five games.

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