Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Nashville Predators Preview: Game Night Run-Down

Joe GillenCorrespondent INovember 17, 2011

TORONTO, ON - NOVEMBER 12: The Toronto Maple Leafs line up at the bench during the game again st the Ottawa Senators at the Air Canada Centre on November 12, 2011 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The Senators defeated the Maple Leafs 5-2.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Tonight, the Toronto Maple Leafs are in the music city of Nashville to take on the highly talented Predators.

The Maple Leafs are coming off a recent shootout loss to the Phoenix Coyotes back on Tuesday night at the Air Canada Centre. During that game, Mikhail Grabovski and winger line-mate Clarke MacArthur both left with upper and lower body injuries.

MacArthur ruled himself out for Thursday's game in Nashville. However, the Maple Leafs did get some good news on Wednesday from coach Ron Wilson regarding the return of centre Tim Connolly, who's been sidelined with an upper body injury.

Connolly looks to be a definite go tonight and is also excepted to play on the top line with Lupul and Kessel. 

Also making his return to the Leafs lineup is defenceman Cody Franson. This will be Franson's first game back in Nashville since joining the Leafs in the offseason.

This season, Franson has been in coach Ron Wilson's doghouse, only appearing in four games out of the Leafs' 18 so far. In four games played, Franson has registered one assist and is a minus-five with only three shots.

Rumor has it that Leafs defenceman Jake Gardiner could see forward playing time tonight, and there is also a possibility of the Buds dressing seven defencemen.

Things won't be getting any easier anytime soon, as the Leafs have a hungry Predators team tonight, and then the Washington Capitals visit the ACC this Saturday night for Hockey Night In Canada.

As it stands right now, the Maple Leafs sit second in the Northeast division with 22 points, only trailing the Buffalo Sabres and just three points up on their rivals, the Ottawa Senators and Montreal Canadiens.

Getting his fourth straight start tonight in goal for the Maple Leafs will be Ben Scrivens. In six games played, Scrivens has a record of 2-2-1 and GAA of 2.92.

As it stands right now, Scrivens looks to be the go to guy, with management and coaching staff showing little to no confidence in monster Jonas Gustavsson.