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Maple Leafs’ Auston Matthews to return vs. Panthers

Apr 9, 2022; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Maple Leafs forward Auston Matthews (34) shoots the puck against the Montreal Canadiens during the third period at Scotiabank Arena. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

Toronto Maple Leafs star forward Auston Matthews will return to the lineup for Saturday’s road game against the Florida Panthers in Sunrise, Fla.

Matthews, who leads the NHL with a career-best 58 goals, has been sidelined for three games with an undisclosed injury.

“It’s been a little bit difficult just trying to work through it,” Matthews said Saturday. “I feel comfortable getting back in tonight. These are important games for us coming up, so it’s exciting.

“I think you can always take the positive and the negative. Obviously I don’t like to not play. It’s never fun sitting out, never fun watching games when you wish you could be in there. But you’ve got to take the good with the bad and hopefully that little bit of rest is beneficial. Obviously I’d much prefer to be playing.”

Matthews, 24, also has posted career-high totals in assists (44) and points (102) in 70 games this season.

He has 453 points (257 goals, 196 assists) in 404 career games since being selected by the Maple Leafs with the top overall pick of the 2016 NHL Draft.

–Field Level Media