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Panthers may rest players for final game vs. Leafs Tuesday

Paul Maurice Florida Panthers Paul Maurice - The Canadian Press

The Florida Panthers are awaiting the result of Monday's matchup between the Boston Bruins and Washington Capitals before making decisions on their lineup for Tuesday's game against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Panthers head coach Paul Maurice said a full lineup will dress if the Panthers still have a chance at first place in the Atlantic Division on Tuesday. If not, two-to-three players could be rested against Toronto.

Maurice noted that most players would prefer to not have a rest and full week off between games. With the playoffs set to start this Saturday, the Panthers last played in Saturday's overtime win over the Buffalo Sabres. The Panthers have been playing without Aaron Ekblad and Carter Verhaeghe, but Maurice reiterated Monday that both players are expected to be ready for Game 1 of the playoffs. 

Aleksander Barkov missed Monday's practice due to tightness and defenceman Oliver Ekman-Larsson remains day-to-day, Maurice said.

The Bruins can clinch first place in the Atlantic with a win over the Capitals on Monday, which would ensure the Panthers face the Maple Leafs in the first round, with home-ice advantage.

Tuesday's game against the Maple Leafs is the final game of the season for the Panthers, while the Maple Leafs will play game No. 82 against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Wednesday.

While Ilya Samsonov is expected to start in the playoffs, Maple Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe confirmed Monday that Joseph Woll will start against the Panthers in Tuesday's game. Toronto will be without wingers Bobby McMann and Max Domi due to injuries on Tuesday, with McMann also ruled out already for Wednesday's game.

The Panthers are 1-1-1 against the Maple Leafs this season after eliminating Toronto in the second round of the playoffs last spring.