TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS (15-6-1) at ANAHEIM DUCKS (11-7-3)
Sunday, 8 p.m., Honda Center
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TV: TSN4; Radio: Sportsnet 590
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Though it didn’t seem so before this California swing started, it’s shaping up as the hardest test of the Leafs’ three games.
Toronto hasn’t seen the Ducks since March 6 of 2020, when they were in the midst of a four-year slide in the standings, down to 30th overall last year with a pop-gun offence. Now, they have put together both a steady attack, team defence and great special teams, with workhorse goalie John Gibson, and are over .500. Coach Dallas Eakins had very little wiggle room to get things turned around, but this modest improvement comes in the wake of long-time general manager Bob Murray resigning three weeks ago amid allegations of unprofessional conduct.
The Ducks warmed up for this game by blanking Ottawa 4-0 on Friday.
GP G A P +/-
John Tavares 21 10 10 20 +1
William Nylander 22 8 11 19 +1
Mitch Marner 22 6 12 18 +1
GP G A P +/-
Troy Terry 20 13 10 23 +5
Ryan Getzlaf 21 1 18 19 +1
Adam Henrique 20 6 9 15 +6
THREE THINGS ABOUT THE DUCKS
1. John Gibson, given Friday off in favour of Anthony Stolarz, ranks fifth in minutes played in the league, just ahead of Toronto’s Jack Campbell, who also was rested Friday. Gibson has faced 30 or more shots in his last five starts. He has won two of six games vs. the Leafs, though Maple Leafs goaltender Jack Campbell, in his Los Angeles years, wasn’t great against the Ducks.
2. Congrats if you chose winger Troy Terry in your points pool. After 15 goals in his first 129 games in Anaheim, he’s up to 13 so far, and is the rarest of Ducks, a top-10 NHL scorer.
3. The Leafs are the league’s top faceoff team at present, but Anaheim has the best numbers of any club they have encountered on this trip. They are led in the dots by Ryan Getzlaf’s 56.4% success rate and will have the last line change on Sunday. Getzlaf and Terry are linemates.
Toronto 24.6% (6th)
Anaheim 28.1% (4th)
Toronto 86.4% (7th)
Anaheim 86.7% (6th)