Having suffered a hard-fought shootout loss to a playoff-bound Philadelphia Flyers squad on Saturday night, the Toronto Maple Leafs get a chance to make up ground on the team currently occupying the eighth and final postseason berth in the Eastern Conference on Sunday.
However, despite a better defensive showing in Saturday’s 1-0 defeat, a road game against the Washington Capitals has proved an almost insurmountable obstacle of late, with the Leafs’ having failed to register a regulation win in the U.S. capital in more than three years.
Alex Ovechkin and Co. are on the rise, registering a 5-2-1 record in their last eight games, putting them six points clear of Toronto in the race to the playoffs. And Dale Hunter’s team has also had its way with Canadian squads of late, putting forth a 10-1-1 record in its last 12 games against teams from north of the border.
Today’s matchup is the start of a five-game road swing for the Leafs, and the 10 points on offer almost certainly have the power to make or break their season.
Leafs forward Colby Armstrong (broken nose) and defenceman Cody Franson (face laceration) missed Saturday's loss and are questionable for today. Forward Joffrey Lupul will miss a third consecutive game after suffering a separated shoulder.
The Capitals will be missing defenceman Mike Green, who will be serving the second game of a three-game suspension for elbowing Tampa's Brett Connolly in the head.