MAPLE LEAFS (33-23-8) at PANTHERS (33-24-6)
7 p.m. ET; TVAS, FS-F, TSN4, NHL.TV
The Florida Panthers will try to tie the Toronto Maple Leafs for third place in the Atlantic Division when the teams face each other at BB&T Center on Thursday.
The fourth-place Panthers, who are 4-7-1 since defeating the Maple Leafs 5-3 on Feb. 3, trail Toronto by two points. They went 3-2-0 on a five-game road trip that ended Tuesday with a 2-1 win against the Arizona Coyotes.
The Maple Leafs will be without defenseman Jake Muzzin, who broke his left hand in a 4-3 win against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday. He will be out four weeks.
Goalie Frederik Andersen is expected to make his sixth straight start for the Maple Leafs, who are 2-3-0 in their past five games and 5-6-1 in their past 12.
Players to watch
Maple Leafs forward William Nylander has five points (two goals, three assists) during a four-game point streak, including the game-winning goal and an assist against the Lightning on Tuesday.
Panthers forward Aleksander Barkov has six points (three goals, three assists) during a five-game point streak.
They said it
"It's an opportunity for everybody to step up here. You want to build on the game against Tampa Bay, you want to take the pros out of everything. Obviously, Jake [Muzzin] is a big part of our team. It seems like a lot of guys we've lost are big parts, but it's an opportunity for guys to grow and step into shoes they're not used to being in." -- Maple Leafs defenseman Travis Dermott
"We rebounded pretty good after the first period [against the Coyotes]. (Goalie) Sergei Bobrovsky kept us in the game the whole time, and we were able to take the lead in the third and seal the deal. Every game is important from here on out, and the more points we can collect, the better chance we'll have to make the [Stanley Cup] Playoffs, and that starts tonight against Toronto." -- Panthers forward Mike Hoffman
Maple Leafs projected lineup
Jason Spezza -- Auston Matthews -- Mitchell Marner
Zach Hyman -- John Tavares -- William Nylander
Pierre Engvall -- Alexander Kerfoot -- Kasperi Kapanen
Kyle Clifford -- Frederik Gauthier -- Denis Malgin
Rasmus Sandin -- Tyson Barrie
Travis Dermott -- Justin Holl
Martin Marincin -- Timothy Liljegren
Scratched: Calle Rosen
Injured: Ilya Mikheyev (wrist laceration), Morgan Rielly (fractured foot), Cody Ceci (ankle), Andreas Johnsson (meniscus), Jake Muzzin (broken hand)
Panthers projected lineup
Jonathan Huberdeau -- Aleksander Barkov -- Evgenii Dadonov
Mike Hoffman -- Erik Haula -- Frank Vatrano
Aleksi Saarela -- Lucas Wallmark -- Brett Connolly
Colton Sceviour -- Noel Acciari -- Mark Pysyk
MacKenzie Weegar -- Aaron Ekblad
Riley Stillman -- Anton Stralman
Keith Yandle -- Mike Matheson
Scratched: Josh Brown, Dominic Toninato
Injured: Chris Driedger (lower body), Brian Boyle (undisclosed)
Neither the Panthers nor Maple Leafs held a morning skate.
Tavares has five points (three goals, two assists) during a three-game point streak. ... Barrie has four assists in his past two games. ... Spezza is two assists away from 600 in the NHL. ... Hoffman has seven points (four goals, three assists) during a five-game point streak. ... Haula will play his 400th NHL game.