NHL Hockey

Leafs try to right ship against Predators

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

Updated March 18, 2019

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Teams Score Time
NHL
Carolina   7:00pm
Tampa Bay  
Teams Score Time
Interleague
Seattle   7:05pm
Pittsburgh  
San Francisco   7:10pm
Boston  
Tampa Bay   10:10pm
Los Angeles  
American League
Baltimore 2 F
Detroit 5
Chicago 3 F
Minnesota 5
Kansas City 6 F
Oakland 5
Los Angeles   6:35pm
New York  
Toronto   7:05pm
Baltimore  
Detroit   7:10pm
Cleveland  
Chicago   7:40pm
Minnesota  
Texas   8:10pm
Houston  
Kansas City   10:07pm
Oakland  
National League
San Diego 1 F
Milwaukee 5
Washington 2 F
St. Louis 4
Cincinnati 2 F
Chicago 8
New York 4 F
Colorado 9
Miami 5 F
Arizona 7
Philadelphia   7:20pm
Atlanta  
San Diego   7:40pm
Milwaukee  
Washington   7:45pm
St. Louis  
Cincinnati   8:05pm
Chicago  
New York   8:40pm
Colorado  
Miami   9:40pm
Arizona  
Teams Score Time
Cleveland 23 F
New York 3
Teams Score Time
Florida 3 F
Nashville 6
Boston 3 F
New Jersey 4
Chicago 3 F/OT
Washington 4
New Jersey 2 F
Montreal 4
New York 3 F
Philadelphia 1
Pittsburgh 4 F/OT
Buffalo 5
Florida 0 F
Nashville 1
St. Louis 2 F
Dallas 0
Vancouver 3 F/OT
Calgary 2
Winnipeg 0 F
Edmonton 2
Calgary 4 F
Vancouver 3
Ottawa   5:30pm
Toronto  
Buffalo   7:00pm
Columbus  
Carolina   7:00pm
Tampa Bay  
Philadelphia   7:00pm
New York  
Chicago   7:30pm
Detroit  
Dallas   8:00pm
Minnesota  
Vegas   9:00pm
Colorado  
Anaheim   10:00pm
San Jose  
Edmonton   10:00pm
Vancouver  
Los Angeles   10:00pm
Arizona  
Arizona   10:30pm
Los Angeles  
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