Maple Leafs-Coyotes Preview
The Toronto Maple Leafs are picking up points in the standings, thanks in large part to Leo Komarov and Tyler Bozak's production.
Komarov and Bozak will try to help the Maple Leafs build on their best offensive showing of the season Tuesday night against the Arizona Coyotes.
Toronto (12-13-7) is at the bottom of the Atlantic Division but showing signs of moving up with a 4-0-2 record over its last six games.
The Maple Leafs' surge has been aided by an offense that is averaging 4.33 goals per game after tallying 2.12 over the first 26 contests.
Komarov and Bozak have been at the center of Toronto's increased scoring, combining for nine goals and as many assists over the last six games.
Komarov leads the Leafs with 15 goals and 24 points, two shy of his career high set last season. The center has scored five times while adding two assists in the last three games.
He collected three points Monday, but it was Bozak's third-period hat trick that was the difference in a 7-4 win at Colorado.
"We were tied going into the third and whenever you are on the road and go into the third tied, it's not bad," Bozak said. "We got some good plays and some lucky bounces."
Both players, however, have struggled with the Coyotes. Bozak has one point in five games and Komarov has none in three.
The Leafs have lost three in a row and nine of their last 11 with Arizona (15-15-2) after their rally fell short in a 4-3 home defeat Oct. 26.
James van Riemsdyk had a goal in that meeting, giving him one point in each of the last three. The left wing has four goals and three assists in the past five games, scoring once and setting up two of Bozak's goals Monday.
The Coyotes are 6-1-1 in their last eight home games, but they're just 2-6-1 in their past nine overall after beating the New York Islanders 1-0 on Saturday. It was Arizona's second shutout of the season and came after the club surrendered an average of 4.63 goals over the previous eight games.
"Our execution was better. Just our structure was better," coach Dave Tippett said. "Our compete level was better and we had better goaltending. That's been the blue print for every game going back to training camp."
Tippett may go back to Louis Domingue in net after he stopped all 25 shots against the Islanders for his first career shutout in his first start of the season.
If Domingue doesn't face Toronto for the first time, Anders Lindback would get the nod. Lindback is 1-1-1 with a 4.28 goals-against average in his last four starts. He was pulled midway through the second period of his last appearance Thursday after allowing four goals on 10 shots in a 7-5 loss to Columbus.
The veteran backup, though, is 3-0-1 with a 2.08 GAA in five career games - three starts - against the Maple Leafs.
Max Domi had a power-play goal at Toronto in October. His 10 goals and 25 points are among the rookie leaders, but he only has two assists in the past six games.