Expert Cappers Picks
National Hockey League
Preview
Toronto at Florida
When: 7:00 PM ET, Friday, January 18, 2019
Where: BB&T Center, Sunrise, Florida

The Florida Panthers have had no reason to celebrate since New Year's Eve, losing each of their first seven games of 2019. They vie for their first win of the calendar year when they host the Toronto Maple Leafs on Friday.

Florida has gone 0-5-2 since recording a shootout victory in Detroit on Dec. 31 and scored one goal in each of its last two setbacks, including a 5-1 defeat at Montreal on Tuesday. Mike Hoffman scored his team-leading 22nd goal, matching his total in 82 games with Ottawa last season, as the Panthers concluded their 0-4-1 road trip. Toronto avoided a third straight loss and fourth in five contests by posting a 4-2 victory at Tampa Bay on Thursday. Patrick Marleau and Nazem Kadri each scored and set up another while Mitch Marner extended his goal-scoring streak to four games - and increased his team-leading point total to 60 - with his 19th of the season.

TV: 7 p.m. ET, Sportsnet Ontario (Toronto), FS Florida

ABOUT THE MAPLE LEAFS (29-15-2): Kadri's goal against the Lightning was his 10th of 2018-19, marking the seventh straight season he has reached double digits. It also ended his 10-game drought and followed a stretch during which he tallied twice in 27 contests. John Tavares registered his eighth multi-point performance in 13 contests Thursday as he notched a pair of assists after being kept off the scoresheet in three of his previous four games.

ABOUT THE PANTHERS (17-20-8): Florida will be without defenseman MacKenzie Weegar, who was placed on injured reserve Thursday after exiting the loss to the Canadiens and being put in concussion protocol following a high hit from Paul Byron, who received a three-game suspension for his actions. The 25-year-old Weegar has recorded a goal and six assists in 42 contests this season. Vincent Trocheck, who hasn't placed since Nov. 19 because of a broken right ankle, participated in his first full practice since suffering the injury Thursday and likely will return to action after the All-Star break.

OVERTIME

1. The Panthers recalled D Josh Brown, who was a sixth-round pick in the 2013 draft but has yet to make his NHL debut, from Springfield of the American Hockey League to replace Weegar on the roster.

2. Marleau ended his nine-game point drought with Thursday's performance.

3. Florida's slide is its longest since a nine-game skid (0-5-4) from Oct. 22-Nov. 10, 2013.

PREDICTION: Maple Leafs 5, Panthers 2
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away Day Night Div
Toronto 29-15-2-0 W1 13-10-1-0 16-5-1-0 0-1-0-0 29-14-2-0 7-5-2-0
Florida 17-20-4-4 L7 8-6-4-1 9-14-0-3 2-2-0-0 15-18-4-4 8-5-2-1
Last Meeting
Toronto Florida
Date Away Home Shots Saves PP Shots Saves PP
12/20/18 FLA 1 TOR 6 26 25 3-3 26 20 1-3
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Total Points Player  
Toronto A. Matthews 4
Florida H. Borgstrom 1
Goals Player  
Toronto A. Matthews 2
Florida H. Borgstrom 1
Assists Player  
Toronto M. Rielly 4
Florida J. McCann 1
Saves Player  
Toronto F. Andersen 25
Florida R. Luongo 17
Season
Total Points Player  
Toronto M. Marner 68
Florida J. Huberdeau 48
Goals Player  
Toronto J. Tavares 34
Florida M. Hoffman 23
Assists Player  
Toronto M. Marner 47
Florida J. Huberdeau 35
Saves Player  
Toronto F. Andersen 1053
Florida J. Reimer 627
Quickchart Matchup
Toronto Off vs  Florida Def
3.59 GF
3.58 GA
31.6 Shots
30.6 Shots
26 PP
27 PK
Florida Off vs  Toronto Def
3.04 GF
2.83 GA
34.1 Shots
32.5 Shots
41 PP
23 PK