Nylander reunited with Matthews for his first game back
|Toronto Star 06 Dec 2018 at 12:07|
Nylander has skated twice with assistant coach D.J. Smith since signing his contract, took the morning skate on Thursday and is indeed going to be in the lineup for the Maple Leafs on Thursday night against the Detroit Red Wings .
He said his biggest challenge will be “the pace, and small things you can’t really practise.”
Nylander will be instantly reunited with Auston Matthews , his centre since their first game together two and a half seasons ago, with Patrick Marleau on the left wing.
“I had chemistry with them before,” said Nylander.
In a bit of a surprise, Garret Sparks (4-1-0, 2.57, .924) will take to the net instead of Frederik Andersen. Sparks, who usually plays the second game of back-to-backs, last played Nov. 24.
A battered Red Wings lineup that is 2-3-2 in its last seven seems an ideal time for Sparks to get some work in.
Ex-Leaf Jonathan Bernier (3-6-0, 3.35, .898) is in net for the Red Wings. The over-under is six. Take the over.
Among the key player the Wings are without: Anthony Mantha (hand), Danny DeKeyser (hand), Tyler Bertuzzi (suspension) and Darren Helm (upper body).