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Golden Knights at Maple Leafs preview

Toronto coach Babcock eyes 700th NHL win; Vegas aims for points in five straight

by Dave McCarthy / Independent Correspondent




The Game

Mike Babcock will become the eighth NHL coach to win 700 games if the Toronto Maple Leafs defeat the Vegas Golden Knights at Scotiabank Arena on Thursday.

Babcock is 699-413-163 with 19 ties in 17 seasons for the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim, Detroit Red Wings and Maple Leafs. He will also coach his 1,295th game and pass Jacques Martin for sole possession of 12th place in NHL history.

Goalie Frederik Andersen will start for the Maple Leafs, who hope to win three straight games for the first time this season.

Backup goalie Malcolm Subban starts for the Golden Knights, who will try to extend their point streak to five games. Vegas is 2-0-2 in its past four.


Players to watch

Golden Knights forward Reilly Smith scored both goals in a 2-1 win against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday and has five points (two goals, three assists) in his past five games.

Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews has seven points (four goals, three assists) in his past five games.


They said it

"Marc-Andre's not going to play every game. He's been outstanding. He's a great goalie for us but Malcolm's from Toronto. He's played real good lately, so it's a good opportunity for him. We have a lot of confidence in him. If you're going to go anywhere in the NHL, you need two good goaltenders and we believe we do." -- Golden Knights coach Gerard Gallant on starting Malcolm Subban

"Their depth, their speed, defensively, every area of the ice they are strong. They've got good forwards, good goaltending and I think they just come at you in waves. It's always a challenge playing these guys because they have a lot of speed and skill and we have to make sure we can harness it." -- Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews


Golden Knights projected lineup

Jonathan Marchessault -- William Karlsson -- Reilly Smith

Max Pacioretty -- Paul Stastny -- Mark Stone

Brandon Pirri -- Cody Eakin -- Cody Glass

William Carrier -- Nicolas Roy -- Ryan Reaves

Brayden McNabb -- Nate Schmidt

Nicolas Hague -- Shea Theodore

Jon Merrill -- Deryk Engelland

Malcolm Subban

Marc-Andre Fleury

Scratched: Tomas Nosek, Nick Holden

Injured: Alex Tuch (upper body)

Suspended: Valentin Zykov


Maple Leafs projected lineup

Andreas Johnsson -- Auston Matthews -- William Nylander

Trevor Moore -- John Tavares -- Mitchell Marner

Ilya Mikheyev -- Alexander Kerfoot -- Kasperi Kapanen

Dmytro Timashov -- Nicholas Shore -- Frederik Gauthier

Morgan Rielly -- Cody Ceci

Jake Muzzin -- Tyson Barrie

Travis Dermott -- Justin Holl

Frederik Andersen

Michael Hutchinson

Scratched: Jason Spezza, Nic Petan, Martin Marincin

Injured: Zach Hyman (ACL)


Status report

Timashov will return after being a healthy scratch against the Los Angeles Kings on Tuesday. … Gallant said he would not confirm Vegas' lineup until game time.


Stat pack

Marchessault, who will play his 300th NHL game, has four points (one goal, three assists) during a four-game point streak… Marner's four-game point streak (five points; one goal, four assists) ended Tuesday.

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