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Hyman returns, Hutchinson starts again; Leafs vs. Flames

February 24, 2021, 3:11 PM ET [623 Comments]
Mike Augello
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The Toronto Maple Leafs were lethargic in a 3-0 loss to Calgary on Monday, but are hoping that the return of Zach Hyman will provide a spark as the Leafs take on the Flames in the second of a two-game set at Scotiabank Arena on Wednesday.

The Leafs, who will wear their extremely unattractive Reverse Retro jersey, could not get a puck past Calgary goaltender David Rittich, who made 34 saves for the shutout standing in for injured Flames starter Jacob Markstrom and got an inconsistent performance from backup Michael Hutchinson, who was a late replacement for injured Leafs starter Frederik Andersen.

Hutchinson will be making his second straight start with rookie Joseph Woll serving as the backup, but the long-term prognosis between the pipes should see Andersen and Jack Campbell returning in the near future.

"Our goaltending situation with both (Campbell) and Fred is at this point day to day, so I think we're trending towards (Jack) being available on this road trip. As to when he'll be available or when we would choose to use him, I haven't made any decisions there, but he's progressing very well. Yesterday was an important day for him he got through it very well." Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe said. "We've had to go through the last little bit here without two of our goalies, so that is concerning, but I think we're coming out on the other side of it here soon."

Hyman missed Monday’s contest after a shot block on Saturday hit the same foot that kept the Leafs winger out of the final game of the three-game set vs. Ottawa last week. Keefe indicated that Hyman will play on the top line with Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner, freeing John Tavares to move back to center the second line with Alex Kerfoot and William Nylander.

Pierre Engvall will center the third line with Ilya Mikheyev and Jimmy Vesey, with the fourth line of Alexander Barabanov, Travis Boyd and Jason Spezza.

A key for the Leafs will be to take advantage of their power play chances after going 0-for-7 with an overloaded top unit of Matthews, Marner, Nylander, Tavares and Morgan Rielly, including a 1:36 five-on-three late in the second period. Hyman could step in as a net front distractor in front of Rittich, after Toronto seemed to be tentative and deferring too much.


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