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Maple Leafs at Wild preview

Toronto can extend point streak to eight; Koivu expected to return for Minnesota

by Jessi Pierce / Independent Correspondent

MAPLE LEAFS (21-14-5) at WILD (19-16-5)

6 p.m. ET; SN, FS-N, FS-WI, NHL.TV


The Game

Mikko Koivu is expected to return to the Minnesota Wild lineup when they host the Toronto Maple Leafs at Xcel Energy Center on Tuesday.

The forward has missed the past 11 games with a lower-body injury. The Wild are 5-5-1 without their captain, including 3-2-0 in their past five games following a 3-1 loss to the New York Islanders on Dec. 29.

The Maple Leafs, who had a six-game winning streak end with a 5-4 overtime loss to the New York Rangers on Dec. 28, will look to extend their point streak to eight games. They are 8-1-1 in their past 10.


Players to watch

Maple Leafs forward Mitchell Marner has 18 points (six goals, 12 assists) in his past 10 games.

Wild forward Joel Eriksson Ek has one goal and two assists during a three-game point streak.


They said it

"We've generated a ton offensively … especially in the last bunch of games here. We've been almost doubling the amount of time in the offensive zone than we've been in our own end. That has really helped us. There is a lot of really good things happening there. We just have to find a way to not give up those egregious chances against." -- Maple Leafs coach Sheldon Keefe

"[The Maple Leafs are] good. A lot of times, lately, we've had to really worry about one center who is the main cog; they've got two, and some wingers that can really play. … It'll be a little more difficult if you attempt to match lines because they're on the ice all the time, so we'll see how it goes." -- Wild coach Bruce Boudreau


Maple Leafs projected lineup

Zach Hyman -- Auston Matthews -- Mitchell Marner

Pierre Engvall -- John Tavares -- William Nylander

Dmytro Timashov -- Alexander Kerfoot -- Kasperi Kapanen

Adam Brooks -- Frederik Gauthier -- Jason Spezza

Morgan Rielly -- Tyson Barrie

Travis Dermott -- Cody Ceci

Martin Marincin -- Justin Holl

Frederik Andersen

Michael Hutchinson

Scratched: Kenny Agostino, Teemu Kivihalme

Injured: Andreas Johnsson (leg), Trevor Moore (concussion), Ilya Mikheyev (wrist surgery), Jake Muzzin (broken foot)


Wild projected lineup

Ryan Donato -- Eric Staal -- Mats Zuccarello

Zach Parise -- Mikko Koivu -- Kevin Fiala

Jordan Greenway -- Joel Eriksson Ek -- Luke Kunin

Marcus Foligno -- Victor Rask -- Ryan Hartman

Ryan Suter -- Jared Spurgeon

Jonas Brodin -- Carson Soucy

Brad Hunt -- Matt Dumba

Devan Dubnyk

Alex Stalock

Scratched: Nick Seeler

Injured: Greg Pateryn (lower body), Jason Zucker (lower body)


Status report

The Maple Leafs recalled Kivihalme from Toronto of the American Hockey League on Monday and sent down defenseman Timothy Liljegren. ... Mikheyev was released from a New Jersey hospital after having surgery to repair an artery and tendons in his right wrist from a cut sustained in the third period of a 5-4 overtime win at the New Jersey Devils on Friday. ... Pateryn practiced with the Wild on Monday for the first time since September but is not close to returning. ... The Wild reassigned forward Nico Sturm to Iowa of the AHL.


Stat pack

Matthews has 12 points (seven goals, five assists) in his past six games. ... Hyman had seven points (three goals, four assists) in three games before being held without a point against New York. ... Donato has seven points (five goals, two assists) in his past 11 games. ... Minnesota is 3-for-34 on the power play in its past 13 games.

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