Toronto at Nashville

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The Toronto Maple Leafs and the Nashville Predators are hoping to make long playoff runs, but they are currently functioning on different levels.

The Maple Leafs stagger into Nashville for a game Tuesday having allowed 23 goals while losing three of their past four games, including a 6-2 face-plant against the lowly Ottawa Senators on Saturday.

The Predators, meanwhile, are returning home after defeating the San Jose Sharks 4-2 on Saturday.

"I think looking at our situation and where we want to go and where we want to get to, you could put that under the biggest win of the season for sure," Predators center Ryan Johansen said.

The Predators (41-27-5) still have a chance to catch the Winnipeg Jets in the Central Division.

"It's not in our division, but it's huge," Predators right winger Viktor Arvidsson said after scoring twice in San Jose. "They (the Sharks) played for something too, for clinching (a playoff spot), and we needed this one. We really had to win this one to hang on in the race for the Central. I think we played a great game."

Arvidsson has matched his career best with 31 goals this season despite missing 21 games with a broken thumb.

"I feel like I kind of choose my shots a little bit (better) this year and hold onto the puck a little bit more than in years before, (when) I shot from the boards," he told The Tennessean. "I try to pull up and find something else and get open again. Shoot it in a better position. That's something I've tried to work on and think about."

Said Predators coach Peter Laviolette: "I think he takes whatever he can get. If it's quality, it's quality. He puts himself in a position to find space and ... his speed allows him to find space. He has a terrific shot. That plays into it as well."

The Maple Leafs are looking for answers after a difficult week in which they lacked some of the basics for playoff success, such as defense, commitment and emotion.

The Maple Leafs (43-24-5) are playing for playoff positioning and a potential home-ice advantage in the first round.

"We talked pre-game (in Ottawa) about preparing for playoffs," said Morgan Rielly, who became the third defenseman in Maple Leafs history to reach 20 goals Saturday. "If anything, we should be amping it up now, using these games to prepare for what's to come. Moving forward, we're going to use our remaining games, take them very seriously. There are points on the line."

The Maple Leafs could use some help from the return of injured defenseman Travis Dermott (shoulder), who is closer to being ready than defenseman Jake Gardiner (back). Right winger Kasperi Kapanen (concussion) missed the game in Ottawa but practiced Monday and is expected to play.

"Any way you look at it, we've had a tough week," Maple Leafs center John Tavares said.

"And we haven't been good enough. We've given up way too many goals. You can't dig the puck out of the net like we have and have success. Bottom line is, we all know how to play defense, we all know where to stand and we're not doing a good enough job."

Toronto center Frederik Gauthier (foot) will not play.

--Field Level Media

Copyright 2019 by STATS. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS is strictly prohibited.

 
 
Standings
Team Standings W L OT Pts L 10
Toronto3rd Atlantic 462881003-4-3
Nashville1st Central 472961007-2-1

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Series Game Log
DateLocationResults
Nov 10 @ DallasNSH 5-4
Dec 27NashvilleDAL 2-0
Feb 2NashvilleDAL 3-1
Feb 7NashvilleNSH 3-2
Feb 19 @ DallasNSH 5-3
Apr 10NashvilleDAL 3-2
Apr 13NashvilleNSH 2-1
Apr 15 @ DallasNSH 3-2
Apr 17 @ DallasDAL 5-1
Apr 20Nashville 
Apr 22 @ Dallas 
Apr 24Nashville 
Other Games
WAS 4 Final
NJ 1
BOS 5 Final
NYI 0
DET 3 Final
NYR 2
MON 3 Final
PHI 1
PIT 2 Final
CAR 3
EDM 2 Final
STL 7
COL 3 Final
MIN 1
FLA 2 Final
DAL 4
CLB 2 Final
CGY 4