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Keefe: 'A chance' Nylander plays Game 3; Matthews good to go


Toronto Maple Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe said Wednesday morning that "there's a chance" that forward William Nylander will play in Game 3 against the Boston Bruins

Nylander skated on his usual third line with Calle Jarnkrok and Pontus Holmberg, but stuck around for extra work after with projected scratch Noah Gregor, indicating he is likely to miss his third straight playoff game.

Keefe also told reporters Nylander's status will depend on how he responds to the extra work he did.

“I’m hoping he’s not playing again tonight,” Bruins coach Jim Montgomery joked Wednesday of the winger's status. 

The Maple Leafs will have star forward Auston Matthews for Game 3 as Keefe confirmed he is good to go after missing Wednesday's morning skate.

Nick Robertson, who skated with Jarnkrok and Holmberg in Games 1 and 2, took Matthews' spot at centre on the top line in the skate, but did not stay out late after the session.

Here were Toronto's full lines:

Bertuzzi - Robertson - Domi
Knies - Tavares - Marner
Jarnkrok - Holmberg - Nylander 
Dewar - Kampf - Reaves

Rielly - Lyubushkin
Benoit - McCabe
Edmundson - Liljegren
Giordano - Brodie 

Samsonov (starts) 

Matthews showed no indication of injury in Game 2, scoring the go-ahead goal in the third period as the Maple Leafs evened the series at one game apiece with a 3-2 win.

Keefe has been coy with Nylander's status all throughout the first-round series as the winger has remained sidelined. Keefe saying once again Tuesday that Nylander was a "possibility" for Game 3. He used the same description ahead of Game 1.

"Obviously no update today, because not much happening for us here today except for getting ready to travel. But he's a possibility for us tomorrow, I guess, is all we would say," Keefe said.

After playing all 82 regular season games, Nylander missed his second straight contest Monday night as the Maple Leafs squeaked out a 3-2 Game 2 victory to even the series at one game apiece.

Keefe and the Leafs have not disclosed the type of injury Nylander is dealing with and have not issued any sort of indication for when he could return to game action. Nylander skated at both Sunday's optional and during Monday's morning skate, but did not take line rushes and stayed out for extra work with the Leafs' projected scratches.  

The 27-year-old Swede had 40 goals and 58 assists for a career-best 98 points during the regular season without missing a game. Nylander has 17 goals and 40 points in 50 career playoff games, including 14 games against the Bruins.

After playing Game 3 Wednesday evening at Scotiabank Arena, the two teams will continue their series with Game 4 Saturday evening.