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Will Matthews Get 70 In Home Finale? Murray Sent To AHL; Leafs vs. Wings

April 13, 2024, 8:26 PM ET [234 Comments]
Mike Augello
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The Toronto Maple Leafs finish off the home portion of their schedule against the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday night with a chance to severely wound their division rival’s playoff chances. The game has little or no consequence to the Leafs’ postseason fate, but the Scotiabank Arena faithful are hopeful that Auston Matthews can score twice and reach the 70-goal mark for the first time.

Toronto needs two points in their final three games to lock in third place in the Atlantic Division, and have only a 2.9% chance to catch Florida for second place. The Panthers can move into first place with a win over Buffalo on Saturday afternoon, and Boston takes on the Penguins in Pittsburgh on Saturday night.

Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe indicated some lineup changes from the group that lost 6-5 to New Jersey on Thursday. Joel Edmundson will sit after getting back in the lineup after missing nearly three weeks with a foot injury and will be replaced by Timothy Liljegren. The veteran blueliner was hobbled by a blocked shot in the first period against the Devils, but played over 19 minutes in the loss. Keefe indicated that Edmundson is being held out over being “overly cautious”, but did not have a reoccurrence of his previous injury.

Liljegren has been out since March 26 with an upper body injury and his availability gives the Leafs nine healthy NHL defensemen for the upcoming playoffs. Ryan Reaves will return to the lineup after sitting for two games and Ilya Samsonov will being in goal after his worst start since the All-Star break.

Former Leaf James Reimer (9-8-2, 3.03 GAA, .906 save %) will be in goal for Detroit, who are one point behind Pittsburgh for the final Eastern Conference playoff spot.

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Injured goalie Matt Murray has been ramping up his on-ice work in recent days in his rehabilitation from double hip surgery last October. The two-time Stanley Cup winner was loaned to the Toronto Marlies on a conditioning stint and will start in Syracuse against the Crunch on Saturday.



Due to the state of their salary cap, the Leafs will not be able to activate Murray off of LTIR before the end of the regular season, but it is possible that the 29-year-old could backup or share duty with rookie Dennis Hildeby for the Marlies in the Calder Cup Playoffs with Samsonov, Joseph Woll, and Martin Jones on the Leafs roster.

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