Kucherov and the Lightning visit the Maple Leafs
Tampa Bay Lightning (60-16-4, first in the Atlantic Division) vs. Toronto Maple Leafs (46-27-7, third in the Atlantic Division)
Toronto; Thursday, 7 p.m. EDT
BOTTOM LINE: Nikita Kucherov leads Tampa Bay into a matchup with Toronto. He’s first in the NHL with 125 points, scoring 39 goals and totaling 86 assists.
The Maple Leafs are 28-17-5 against conference opponents. Toronto averages 2.8 per game, the least in the Eastern Conference. Zach Hyman leads the team averaging 0.4.
TOP PERFORMERS: John Tavares leads the Maple Leafs with 47 goals, adding 41 assists and totaling 88 points. Auston Matthews has collected 9 points over the last 10 games for Toronto.
LAST 10 GAMES: Lightning: 7-3-0, averaging 4.4 goals, 6.8 assists, 4.4 penalties and 11.6 penalty minutes while giving up 3.5 goals per game with a .892 save percentage.
Maple Leafs: 4-4-2, averaging three goals, 4.8 assists, 2.9 penalties and 6.6 penalty minutes while giving up 3.4 goals per game with a .890 save percentage.
Maple Leafs Injuries: Jake Muzzin: day to day (illness), Jake Gardiner: day to day (undisclosed), Andreas Johnsson: day to day (illness).
Lightning Injuries: Victor Hedman: day to day (upper body), Dan Girardi: out (lower body), Louis Domingue: day to day (lower body).