Maple Leafs Face Game 5 Without Auston Matthews

Auston Matthews absence

BOSTON — With their playoff hopes hanging by a thread, the Toronto Maple Leafs confront the possibility of entering Game 5 against the Boston Bruins without star center Auston Matthews, who remains sidelined due to illness.

Matthews, who was unable to finish Game 4 due to illness, has his participation in Tuesday’s pivotal match at TD Garden in question, according to coach Sheldon Keefe. The team remains optimistic but uncertain about Matthews’ availability, as he did not participate in Monday’s practice session but traveled with the team to Boston.

Having played a pivotal role in Toronto’s lone victory in the series, Matthews’ absence would be keenly felt. His illness, which has persisted since Game 2, has visibly affected his performance, with a noticeable drop in his offensive output in Games 3 and 4.

In preparation for the possibility of Matthews being unavailable, Keefe has adjusted the team’s lineup, with Max Domi assuming the center role on the first line alongside Tyler Bertuzzi and Mitch Marner. Additionally, William Nylander has been moved up to center John Tavares’ line.

The Maple Leafs, who have been dealing with various injury challenges throughout the playoffs, recognize the significance of Matthews’ potential absence but remain resolute in their determination to step up collectively.


As they brace for a crucial Game 5, Toronto understands the necessity of adapting to adversity and rallying behind their depth and character to fill the void left by their star player.

“We’ll see what tomorrow brings,” Keefe remarked, highlighting the uncertainty surrounding Matthews’ status and the team’s readiness to face the challenge head-on.

In other developments, defenseman Timothy Liljegren is poised to make a return to the lineup after being scratched in Game 4, while the starting goalie for Game 5 remains undisclosed for both teams.

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