The Toronto Maple Leafs will be without one of their key defensemen when they host the Montreal Canadiens in Game 7 of their best-of-seven series on Monday.
Jake Muzzin will be out a minimum of three weeks with a lower-body injury, head coach Sheldon Keefe said.
Muzzin was injured in the second period of the team’s 3-2 overtime loss to the Montreal Canadiens in Game 6. He was skating on his own before he headed off to the bench while hunched over.
“Obviously, we have to press on without him here,” Keefe said.
Rasmus Sandin will draw in for the Maple Leafs for Game 7 after serving as a healthy scratch in Game 6.
The injury is a blow to the Maple Leafs who have been fortunate to avoid serious injury to their top-four defensemen all season long.
Should the Leafs advance on Monday, the timeline of Muzzin’s injury would have the defenseman miss the entire second-round series with the Winnipeg Jets.
Muzzin has four goals and 23 assists in 53 games this season. He has two goals and one assist in six playoff games.
Muzzin’s absence during the third period in Game 6 was evident. A regular on the team’s penalty kill, the Leafs gave up two power-play goals in the third period during their 3-2 loss to the Montreal Canadiens.
It’s the second consecutive year that Muzzin will miss some postseason action due to injury.
In August, Muzzin was injured in Game 2 of the team’s 202 qualifying-round, best-of-five series with the Columbus Blue Jackets in The Leafs went on to lose that series in five games.