May 22nd, 2024

Leafs star Auston Matthews misses practice with illness, Game 5 status unclear

By Joshua Clipperton, The Canadian Press on April 29, 2024.

Boston Bruins' Charlie McAvoy takes down Toronto Maple Leafs' Auston Matthews during NHL playoff action in Toronto on Wednesday, April 24, 2024. Matthews will be alongside his teammates in Boston.Whether the Maple Leafs sniper is on the ice with Toronto facing elimination is a massive question mark.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

TORONTO – Auston Matthews will be alongside his teammates in Boston.

Whether the Maple Leafs sniper is on the ice with Toronto facing elimination is a massive question mark.

Matthews didn’t practise today as the Leafs prepared for tomorrow’s must-win Game 5 down 3-1 in their first-round playoffs series against the Bruins.

Head coach Sheldon Keefe says the team is “hopeful” its best player will be in the lineup at TD Garden, but the group is clearly preparing for a scenario where he misses out.

Matthews didn’t look like himself in Game 3 and didn’t practise Friday before being pulled from Saturday’s Game 4 by doctors in the second intermission.

The Leafs were minus star winger William Nylander for the first three games of the series because of an undisclosed injury.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 29, 2024.

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