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Getting Healthy Giving Keefe Options; Leafs vs. Devils

April 11, 2024, 8:26 PM ET [278 Comments]
Mike Augello
Toronto Maple Leafs Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
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The Toronto Maple Leafs are hoping to continue their winning ways with four games to go in the regular season in the second of back-to-back games against the New Jersey Devils at Scotiabank Arena. The Leafs won their third game in a row and sixth of the last seven games on Tuesday with a 5-2 victory in Newark, now the Leafs begin their final homestand of the regular season with Auston Matthews four goals away from hitting the 70-goal plateau.

Matthews scored goal #66 in the third period and might have had a chance to narrow the gap to three with goalie Jake Allen pulled for an extra attacker, but Tyler Bertuzzi scored into an empty net to extend the Toronto lead.

The Leafs will have to win to keep pace with the Florida Panthers in their race for second place in the Atlantic, who host the Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday. The Panthers have an easy schedule leading up to their match with Toronto next Tuesday, hosting the Blue Jackets and Buffalo on Saturday. Toronto’s game in hand comes the following night in Tampa Bay, so unless the Panthers slip and lose to a non-playoff team, the Leafs will have to win their last four games to gain home-ice advantage.

Toronto will make changes to their lineup in their third game in four nights. Goalie Ilya Samsonov will get the start in goal after Joseph Woll made 18 saves for the win on Tuesday. The defensive rotation will see Jake McCabe and Conor Timmins sit, and Ilya Lyubushkin and Joel Edmundson return to the lineup. Edmundson has been out since March 24 with a bruised foot, but indicated that he would have played through the injury had it occurred in the playoffs.

Defenseman Timothy Liljegren was also on the ice for the optional morning skate after missing two-plus weeks with an upper-body injury. Head coach Sheldon Keefe indicated that Liljegren will participate in practice on Friday and it is possible he will get back in the lineup for one of the last three regular season games.

At forward, Connor Dewar is expected to replace Noah Gregor on the fourth line, but no other changes are expected against the Devils.


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