Calgary Flames @ Toronto Maple Leafs, 5 PM MT, Scotiabank Arena, Toronto ON
TV: TVAS, SN - Radio: Sportsnet 960
Calgary Flames (9-9-1, 19 pts) - Toronto Maple Leafs (14-4-2, 30 pts)
He’s known as Big Save Dave because of his play between the pipes, but his biggest save may have been his entire performance on Monday night. Things were getting dicey with the Flames prior to their 3-0 win, but David Rittich came in and shutdown the NHL’s best team in Toronto and may have put a cork in the cracks of the dam that were starting to really flow. Now, everything isn’t fixed with the Flames after one win, but shutting out the Leafs for the first time ever as a franchise in Toronto was a step in the right direction. Big Save Dave, legit, saved the Flames.
It’s looking more and more like it will be a battle of the backups again tonight as Jacob Markstrom is still listed as day to day and after Ritter’s performance the Flames can’t give him back the baseball cap and start Markstrom, even if he was healthy. Toronto will most likely counter with Michael Hutchinson again as well with Frederik Andersen still being listed as “out” with a lower body injury. This could be another game Calgary could steal as the injury bug is mounting with the Leafs. They have Jake Muzzin, Wayne Simmonds, Joe Thornton, Zach Hyman and Alex Galchenyuk all out with various injuries. Combine that with a Flames team with a little confidence and Calgary could start to put something together.
Now, as Calgary saw with Edmonton, you can’t keep a team’s top guns off the scoresheet forever and they need to be fully aware of that tonight at Scotiabank Arena. Toronto’s high powered offence was shut down Monday night and the 3-0 loss snapped a 16 game point streak for Auston Matthews, a streak of 12 of 14 with points for Mitch Marner and Calgary killed seven (!) Toronto powerplays, including a 5 v 3. I wouldn’t count on that happening again tonight and neither should the Flames. You can guarantee that the Maple Leafs, even with a roster filled with injuries, are going to come out firing on all cylinders and the Flames had better be prepared.
For Calgary to sweep this mini series they will need to play near perfect hockey and get another gold star performance from David Rittich. The Flames were lucky to escape with a 3-0 win after taking a ton of dumb penalties on Monday night. You’re not going to survive many nights where your PK has to work overtime like they did on Monday. You also can’t count on the officials calling EVERYTHING, which gave the Flames five PPO, two of which they converted on. So, add it all up and if the Flames play close to perfect, stay out of the box and get a replica performance from David Rittich they should be in a good head space to collect another two points. Oh....and they need to shut down Matthews, Marner and Nylander again. No biggie.
Starting Goalies (E=Expected, C=Confirmed)
Flames: Rittich (E): 1-3-0, 2.36 GAA, .909 SV%
Maple Leafs: Hutchinson (E): 1-1-0, 3.05 GAA, .914 SV%
Flames: Goals- Gaudreau (9), Points- Gaudreau (18), PIM- Tkachuk (17), Save%- Markstrom (.909)
Maple Leafs: Goals- Matthews (18), Points- Marner (30), PIM: Simmonds (22). Save%- Campbell (.923)
What’s Happening With The Opposition?
Toronto Maple Leafs Coverage: Pension Plan Puppets
Injury and COVID-19 testing causing practice absences. https://t.co/6jeBadeI3t— Pension Plan Puppets (@PPPLeafs) February 23, 2021
Last Time Out
Calgary Flames 3 - Toronto Maple Leafs 0
Players To Watch
Sean Monahan (C): 5 points in last 5 games
Toronto Maple Leafs
Morgan Rielly (D): 5 points in last 5 games