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Campbell out, Matthews a game-time decision; Leafs vs. Oilers

March 1, 2021, 6:06 PM ET [530 Comments]
Mike Augello
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The Toronto Maple Leafs played possibly their most complete game in a 4-0 victory over the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday, limiting NHL leading scorer Connor McDavid to one shot on goal and getting a great 30-save shutout performance from Jack Campbell, but a collision at the end of the first period with former Leaf Tyler Ennis may have re-injured the Leafs goaltender in his first start since January 24.



Campbell was given Sunday off from practice, but on Monday he was not on the ice for the optional morning skate. Frederik Andersen, Michael Hutchinson and Joseph Woll were all taking part at Rogers Place, but head coach Sheldon Keefe said that any lineup changes would be game-time decisions.

The status of Auston Matthews is up in the air. The Leafs center missed his second game of the year on Saturday with a sore wrist, but the NHL’s leading goal scorer has been testing out the injury the last three days and appears to be close to returning.

Giving their injured players more time may be a luxury for Toronto, as they have the NHL’s best record at 16-4-2 and are six points in front of Edmonton for the North Division lead. The Leafs were able to compensate for the absence of Matthews with a stepped up energetic effort. John Tavares had a pair of assists and the club got a goal from three of their four lines and power play.

The most impressive effort was the unit of Zach Hyman, Pierre Engvall and Ilya Mikheyev. Although not a line with a great finisher, the Leafs may have found a checking line with great energy that can drive an opposition line crazy.

Engvall has been more effective since being moved to center and heeding Keefe’s direction to use his 6’5”, 214 lb. frame, long reach and speed. On Saturday, the lanky Leaf played a season-high 18:13 and had an assist on Hyman’s third period insurance goal.

"We see great potential there. We’ve seen it at different times before, I’ve seen it with the Marlies, we saw it last season at different points.” Keefe said. “We’ve made things harder on him to earn that opportunity, mainly because I feel that a player with his skill set, his size, his speed, his physicality, the potential that he has, I don't even know he realizes how good he can be and we didn’t want to hand him anything. He needed to work at it and needed to understand that there are areas of his game that he (needs) to continue to get better at."

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