FLORIDA PANTHERS: 21-27-7 (49 PTS.) vs. TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS: 30-21-6 (66 PTS.)
GAME DAY SONG: Downbound Train, Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band
After a rough road four game road trip that started out well, the Florida Panthers come home for two quick games in hopes of getting themselves back on track. With the thought of giving up 20 goals over four games the pressure to climb back into a fading playoff spot won’t get any easier this evening when the Toronto Maple Leafs come to town. The Leafs who were struggling just a month ago are now a zesty 10-1-1 over their last 12 games as they hit their stride just before the Olympic break.
The Leafs are led by Phil Kessel who was named the second star of the month for January as he piled up 20 points in 15 games and now has 30 goals and 31 assists for 61 points in 57 games. With his hat trick on Saturday against Ottawa, Kessel scored 30 goals for the 6th time in his career.
As the Leafs surge upwards in the Atlantic division, they now have a total of 6 players who have scored in double digits. James van Riemsdyk who’s having a breakout season is second in scoring with 22 goals and 45 points, followed by the enigmatic Nazem Kadri, Joffrey Lupul and Mason Raymond and Tyler Bozak.