Toronto can secure a postseason berth with a win over the Caps tonight, and some help on the out of town scoreboard.
And they’ll look to do it with Curtis McElhinney in goal.
McElhinney, who came up huge last week in relief of the injured Frederik Andersen, will get the call on Tuesday as the leafs host the Caps at the ACC. The start comes exactly one week after McElhinney stopped 25 shots in a 3-2 win over Florida, a game that kicked off the Leafs’ current four-game unbeaten streak.
Calling the Panthers game the biggest start of his career, the veteran backup did very well. But tonight is certainly a more difficult task.
The Caps come into Toronto boasting the NHL’s second-best offense and third-best power play. They’re also on the verge of clinching the Presidents’ Trophy, so plenty at stake for them as well.
Washington is going with Philipp Grubauer in goal.
(For more on Toronto’s playoff-clinching and Washington’s Presidents’ Trophy-clinching scenarios, click here).
— In a game the Leafs will be paying close attention to, the Lightning are going with Andrei Vasilevskiy in Boston. No confirmed B’s starter yet, but chances are Tuukka Rask will be in goal, as the Bruins can clinch a postseason berth with a regulation win.
— Matt Murray goes for Pittsburgh, who hosts Columbus in a likely first-round playoff preview. No word yet on a Blue Jackets starter.
— No confirmed starters from Detroit and Ottawa, who played each other last night. Petr Mrazek and Craig Anderson were the goalies of record, so we could see Jimmy Howard and Mike Condon. (Update: It’s Anderson for Ottawa.)
— The Isles’ playoff hopes are hanging by a thread, and they’re hoping Jaroslav Halak can keep them alive in Nashville. The Preds have yet to announce a starter.
— Speaking of nights off, Brian Elliott gets one for Calgary as the Flames look to snap an 11-year (yes, year) losing streak in Anaheim. Chad Johnson gets the call, and no word yet on who he’ll face.