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2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs

Round 2, Game No. 3 — Lines, Odds for Leafs at Panthers

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The Eastern Conference semifinals turn to Sunrise where the Florida Panthers play host to the Toronto Maple Leafs in Game 3 on Sunday night. // Photo @GeorgeRichards

SUNRISE — The Florida Panthers and Toronto Maple Leafs went about their gameday morning a little differently on Sunday.

While the Panthers got a light skate in at FLA Live Arena, the Leafs stayed on Fort Lauderdale Beach and got some work in the sunshine.

To each their own.

For the Panthers, this will be their first home game in over a week following their Game 6 win against the Bruins last month — OK, April 28.

“It always gets pretty loud in here,” Carter Verhaeghe said. “They have been with us the whole year. It is great coming home.”

Since that 7-5 win over Boston, the Panthers won Game 7 in Boston then flew directly to Toronto where they took the opening two games of this best-of-7 series.

With the Panthers back in the comfort of home, can they keep that edge to their game?

“In our 9-game (playoff) series, the matchup game has not been prominent or important,” Paul Maurice said. “You tend to get a little more positive feedback at home, when you crack a (cross)bar or get a chance. You don’t feel as under siege as much as home. In the new NHL, the only advantage (at home) is the juice and maybe the momentum you feel after something good happens and you have the opportunity to sustain it.”

Said Verhaeghe: “We have had a lot of highs and lows, it has been a rollercoaster. But we have found peace with our gameplan and we’re going to stick with it.’’

The Panthers are expected to roll out the same lineup as they have the past few games what with Ryan Lomberg remaining out for the foreseeable future.

Nick Cousins remains on the second line with Sam Bennett and Matthew Tkachuk, a line which has been causing the Leafs fits thus far in the series.

“Those two have taken their game to another level,” Cousins said. “I am on that line to play my game and really not complicate things.”

The Leafs will be without rookie Matthew Knies who sustained a concussion during the first period of Game 2 after getting hit by both Tkachuk and Bennett on separate occasions.

Knies will miss at least the next two games.

The starting goalies tonight: Sergei Bobrovsky and Ilya Samsonov.

FLORIDA PANTHERS ON DECK
STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS
EASTERN CONFERENCE SEMIFINALS
TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS (ATL2) AT FLORIDA PANTHERS (WC2)
GAME 3 (Panthers Lead 2-0)

PROJECTED FLORIDA PANTHERS LINEUP

23 Carter Verhaeghe // 16 Sasha Barkov // 10 Anthony Duclair

21 Nick Cousins // 9 Sam Bennett // 19 Matthew Tkachuk

27 Eetu Luostarinen // 15 Anton Lundell // 13 Sam Reinhart

22 Zac Dalpe // 12 Eric Staal // 6 Colin White

42 Gus Forsling // 5 Aaron Ekblad

18 Marc Staal // 62 Brandon Montour

28 Josh Mahura // 7 Radko Gudas

72 Sergei Bobrovsky

34 Alex Lyon

Scratched: Mike Benning, Evan Fitzpatrick, Givani Smith, Casey Fitzgerald, Lucas Carlsson, Connor Bunnaman, Grigori Denisenko, Patrick Giles, Mack Guzda, Aleksi Heponiemi, Matt Kiersted, Santtu Kinnunen, John Ludvig, Calle Sjalin

Injured: Patric Hornqvist (LTIR-concussion), Ryan Lomberg (hand)

PROJECTED TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS LINEUP

58 Michael Bunting // 34 Auston Matthews // 16 Mitch Marner

19 Calle Jarnkrok // 91 John Tavares //88 William Nylander

15 Alexander Kerfoot // 90 Ryan O’Reilly // 52 Noel Acciari

24 Zach Auston-Reese // 64 David Kampf //28 Sam Lafferty

22 Jake McCabe // 78 T.J. Brodie

44 Morgan Reilly // 2 Luke Schenn

55 Mark Giordano // 37 Timothy Liljegren

35 Ilya Samsonov

60 Joseph Woll

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