Maple Leafs shake up lines ahead of visit to first-place Lightning
Toronto Maple Leafs players leave the ice after losing 6-3 to the Colorado Avalanche, at the end of third period NHL hockey action in Toronto on Monday, January 14, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Cole Burston
The Canadian Press
Published Wednesday, January 16, 2019 2:49PM EST
Toronto Maple Leafs head coach Mike Babcock put his forward lines in the blender at practice Wednesday.
Auston Matthews was back between William Nylander and Zach Hyman -- a trio that was together most of the last two seasons -- while Andreas Johnsson was shuffled to play on the wing with John Tavares and Mitch Marner.
The third unit featured Nazem Kadri centring Patrick Marleau and Kasperi Kapanen.
The fourth line of Par Lindholm, Frederik Gauthier and Connor Brown remained unchanged.
Toronto, which has lost five of its last seven, opens a two-game road trip Thursday against the first-place Tampa Bay Lightning before visiting the Florida Panthers on Friday.
Babcock didn't commit to his new line combinations when speaking with reporters following Wednesday's skate, but it's rare for the coach to not at least start the next game with the combinations used at practice.