Leafs goalie Frederik Andersen has “no symptoms” of a concussion, but will sit tonight’s game against Blue Jackets, according to coach Mike Babcock. The goaltender is expected to start Game 1 of the playoffs.
Andersen, who was hit by Pittsburgh’s Tom Sestito who ironically was back for his first game after serving a four-game suspension for a hit against Tobias Enstrom, hit Andersen in a fly-by. Initial belief was he had suffered a concussion. Backup Curtis McElhinney took over in Saturday’s game and is expected to get the start with recent callup Garret Sparks to take backup duties.
Other Toronto notes …
- When rookie Auston Matthews scored his 40th goal Saturday, an empty netter with three seconds remaining that clinched the Maple Leafs a playoff spot, it put the teenager into rare company. The 19-year-old rookie is now the fourth rookie-teenager in NHL history to score 40 goals. He joins elite company next to Dale Hawerchuk (45 goals at 18 years of age in 1981-82), Mario Lemieux (43 goals at 19 years of age in 1984-85) and Sylvain Turgeon (40 goals at 19 years in 1983-84). Matthews had previously broken the American-born rookie scoring record when he recorded his 39th goal Monday.
- Dave McCarthy of NHL.com reports the Leafs will have nine players play 82 games this year, a testament to their health and one reason for the team’s success this year in reaching the playoffs. Matthews, Nazem Kadri, James van Riemsdyk, Connor Brown, Leo Komarov, Zach Hyman, Jake Gardiner, Matt Martin, Nikita Zaitsev have played all 81 games so far and are expected to play tonight. William Nylander is only at 80 games.