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Maple Leafs at Oilers preview

Backup goaltender Brossoit starts for Edmonton; Matthews to play for Toronto despite illness

by Derek Van Diest / Correspondent

MAPLE LEAFS (16-9-1) at OILERS (10-13-2)

9 p.m. ET; TVA Sports, SNW, TSN4, NHL.TV


The Game

Backup goaltender Laurent Brossoit will make his fourth start of the season for the Edmonton Oilers against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday at Rogers Place.

The Oilers placed No. 1 goaltender Cam Talbot on injured reserve Thursday; he will miss at least two weeks, according to coach Todd McLellan. Brossoit is 0-3-1 with a 3.31 goals-against average and a save percentage of .881.

Toronto center Auston Matthews did not take part in the morning skate because of a cold, but coach Mike Babcock said he'll play. Mathews, the No. 1 pick in the 2016 NHL Draft, will play against Oilers center Connor McDavid, the No. 1 pick in the 2015 NHL Draft, for the first time this season and third time in his career.


Players to watch

Matthews has an assist in each of the Maple Leafs' past three games. He leads Toronto with 24 points (12 goals, 12 assists) in 22 games.

McDavid has 11 points (three goals, eight assists) in the Oilers' past eight games. He leads Edmonton with 30 points (10 goals, 20 assists) in 25 games.


They said it

"I love playing against special players and guys that are going to push me to compete hard and become a better player myself. That's why I love going against guys of his caliber, because I know in the end, it makes me a better player and making me a better player makes me better for my team." -- Maple Leafs forward Nazem Kadri on playing against Connor McDavid

"It obviously hurts, he's our No. 1 goalie and is a huge part of our group. But we believe in [Laurent Brossoit], and he's given us some really strong performances this year." -- Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl on the injury to starting goalie Cam Talbot


Maple Leafs projected lineup

Zach Hyman -- Auston Matthews -- Mitchell Marner

Patrick Marleau -- Tyler Bozak -- Connor Brown

James van Riemsdyk -- Nazem Kadri -- Leo Komarov

Matt Martin -- Dominic Moore -- William Nylander

Morgan Rielly -- Ron Hainsey

Jake Gardiner -- Nikita Zaitsev

Andreas Borgman -- Roman Polak

Frederik Andersen

Curtis McElhinney

Scratched: Connor Carrick, Nikita Soshnikov, Josh Leivo

Injured: None


Oilers projected lineup

Milan Lucic -- Connor McDavid -- Jesse Puljujarvi

Patrick Maroon -- Ryan Nugent-Hopkins -- Anton Slepyshev

Drake Caggiula -- Leon Draisaitl -- Ryan Strome

Jujhar Khaira -- Mark Letestu -- Zack Kassian

Darnell Nurse -- Adam Larsson

Oscar Klefbom -- Matt Benning

Yohann Auvitu -- Kris Russell

Laurent Brossoit

Nick Ellis

Scratched: Iiro Pakarinen, Eric Gryba, Michael Cammalleri

Injured: Andrej Sekera (knee), Cam Talbot (undisclosed)


Status report

Edmonton recalled Ellis from Bakersfield of the American Hockey League to back up Brossoit ... Puljujarvi will play on the top line for the first time this season.


Stat pack

Toronto is 9-2-0 in its past 11 games against Edmonton. … Kadri has 11 points (six goals, five assists) in his past 11 games Andersen has allowed two goals or fewer in seven of his past nine starts … Draisaitl has five points (two goals, three assists) in his past five games.

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