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TSN Toronto reporter Mark Masters checks in with news and notes from Maple Leafs practices and game-day skates. The Maple Leafs had a team meeting at the Air Canada Centre ahead of tonight's game against the Red Wings. Detroit held a full morning skate.


- Toronto has allowed 18 five-on-five goals in the last nine games and Morgan Rielly has been on the ice for 13 of them. Rielly, who turns 23 on Thursday, is still adjusting to the top-pairing role and now, for the first time in his NHL career, is being asked to help lead the way during a playoff race. How's he coping with the pressure? "Okay, I think," he said. "It's a little different than the spot we were in last year, but that's all part of maturing as a team and growing up." Mike Babcock was asked how the defenceman can tighten up his game. "Well, I think the biggest thing is he's like a lot of us, when you got a real swagger about your game and you're playing real fast and things are going real good you don't think about anything, you're just doing what you do," the coach said. "I think he's probably got himself thinking a little bit [so] just steady on the rudder here. Do what you do and understand the details and the structure protects the individual. Get prepared, but let’s be loose and driving at game time and have some fun." Rielly, who has been held without a point in seven straight games, believes his struggles are tied into the larger team-wide issues. Asked specifically where he and partner Nikita Zaitsev can improve, Rielly stressed that the pair have to avoid trying to do too much.

- Frederik Andersen hasn't played since Thursday's shootout loss to the Kings providing him with a longer-than-usual layoff between games. When he has had three or more days between starts this season (10 games), Andersen's save percentage is just .903. So, while his teammates stayed off the ice on Tuesday morning, Andersen decided to get in a brief session in full equipment. "I just like to go out there and feel good and maybe work on some things that you may see in the game, but it's mostly about just going out and feeling good on the ice," he explained. "It's just getting back into it. I haven't had a lot of these breaks. I look forward to being rested because down the stretch we'll need all the energy we can [muster]." The break may have come at an inopportune time for Andersen who seems to finally be back in a groove posting a .942 save percentage in his last four starts. "I've been feeling good and I just want to keep going," he said. On Tuesday, Andersen will make his 53rd start, matching his career high in the NHL set in the 2014-15 campaign.

- Detroit's remarkable playoff streak is on life support these days with the Wings sitting last in the Eastern Conference and coming off a loss to the Oilers. "I didn't think we were nearly good enough against Edmonton," said head coach Jeff Blashill. "It's inexcusable. We have to be better than that for sure. We can't afford to have games where we weren't good enough ... I expect our guys to come out and play at a high, high level." 

- Ryan Sproul (knee) is likely out for the rest of the regular season, per Blashill. A determination about whether the defenceman needs surgery will be made in 10-14 days after the swelling goes down. With Sproul out, 24-year-old Robbie Russo will make his NHL debut on Tuesday. "He's a really, really smart, poised defenceman," said Blashill. "He can move the puck well and he can do it under pressure, which is something we need ... if he moves his feet to close on people and doesn't give lots of time and space I think he's going to have a good night. He's a little undersized and probably didn't get a quick opportunity (in the NHL) because of that, but he might be one of those guys who surprise you when he comes into the NHL. He's been an elite defenceman in the AHL for a couple years now." Russo was paired with Xavier Ouellet at the morning skate.


* Projected Leafs lineup for Tuesday's game: 

Van Riemsdyk-Bozak-Marner


Andersen starts