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Maple Leafs turn all attention to Game 4: 'Got to win one game'

Sheldon Keefe, Toronto Maple Leafs Sheldon Keefe, Toronto Maple Leafs - The Canadian Press

After advancing in the postseason for the first time since 2004, the Toronto Maple Leafs are on the brink of a quick exit in the second round.

Following a 3-2 overtime loss to the Florida Panthers, the Maple Leafs trail the series 3-0 and face a must-win Game 4 on Wednesday to keep their season alive.

“Got to win one game,” head coach Sheldon Keefe said after Sunday's loss. “That was the mission here tonight. Got to start with one and give yourself a chance. They're in full control here; it's up to us to make it uncomfortable for them and not go away."

The Maple Leafs won three straight games in their opening-round series against the Tampa Bay Lightning following a Game 1 loss, eventually closing the series out in Game 6. Sunday's loss marked the fourth time the Maple Leafs have gone to overtime in these playoffs, with the team owning just one regulation win in nine games.

"We still have tremendous belief in our group," Keefe added. We just lost three games in a row. Florida won three games in a row. If we win three in a row, we put ourselves in a position for a Game 7. That would be the goal for us, but obviously it starts with one win."

Winger Alex Kerfoot had called Game 3 a "must-win" for the Maple Leafs prior to puck drop, but after another loss, the team has run out of breathing room.

“Obviously, it's do-or-die now,” centre Auston Matthews said. “So, it starts with one game.”


Goalie Watch

With their season on the line, it's unclear who will get the start in Game 4 for the Maple Leafs.

Goaltender Ilya Samsonov's status is unclear after he left Sunday's game following a collision with teammate Luke Schenn.

Rookie Joseph Woll replaced Samsonov, allowing three goals on 21 shots in relief. The Maple Leafs also have two-time Stanley Cup champion Matt Murray available as an option.

"I think we've been playing pretty good offence. I think Bobrovsky's played well," Woll said after his second playoff appearance. "I like the offence we've been generating. Sometimes games don't go your way.

"I have all the faith in this team. It doesn't matter what the score in this series is or looks like, I have a lot of belief in this team, and there's a lot of belief in this locker room."