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Marner skates on line with Tavares ahead of likely return vs. Habs

Mitchell Marner Toronto Maple Leafs Mitchell Marner - Mark Blinch/NHLI via Getty Images

Toronto Maple Leafs winger Mitch Marner appears to be on track to return to the lineup on Saturday against the Montreal Canadiens after missing nearly a month.

Marner spent Friday's practice back on the team's top power play unit with John Tavares, William Nylander, Auston Matthews and Morgan Rielly, who returned from injury on Wednesday.

While he 's spent most of the season on a line with Matthews, Marner skated with John Tavares and Bobby McMann Friday. Matthews remained with Tyler Bertuzzi and Max Domi, while Matthew Knies, Pontus Holmberg and Nylander on the third line and Connor Dewar, David Kampf and Ryan Reaves on the fourth line. Noah Gregor and Nick Robertson skated as extras.

Marner, who was moved to long-term injured reserve retroactive to March 7 last week, has missed 12 games with a high-ankle sprain. The 26-year-old has 25 goals and 76 points in 62 games this season. 

The Maple Leafs are looking to bounce back in Montreal after seeing a three-game win streak snapped Wednesday by the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Toronto is five points back of the Florida Panthers for second in the Atlantic Division with two games in hand, while the Lightning have closed to within two points of the Maple Leafs for third in the division with one more game played. The Lightning currently sit in the top wild-card spot and would face the Boston Bruins in the first round if the playoffs started Friday.