NEWARK, N.J. -- James Reimer is ready to return, but it likely won't be until the Toronto Maple Leafs visit the Columbus Blue Jackets tomorrow night.
Coach Ron Wilson said it once again will be Jonas Gustavsson between the pipes for tonight's game against the Devils (7:30 p.m. ET, TSN), marking his fifth straight start since Reimer suffered a whiplash injury against the Montreal Canadiens on Oct. 22.
Gustavsson is 2-2-0 with a .905 save percentage since Reimer went down. Of the 12 goals he's allowed over that span, six have come with the Leafs shorthanded. He's filled in admirably, but Reimer looks ready to come back soon.
"I'm expecting James to say he's fine," said Wilson, who spoke to the media while Reimer stayed on the ice here at Prudential Center. "He felt fine after practice yesterday and he felt good in the middle of practice (today). Hopefully he'll be ready to be the backup (against New Jersey) and be ready to start tomorrow.
"That's the whole thing when a guy's got a minor injury, especially a goalie -- you don't want to fool around. The Monster (Gustavsson) has done a good job. His confidence is high."
No. 3 goaltender Ben Scrivens practiced Wednesday, so if Reimer feels any ill effects between the morning skate and the game, Scrivens will back-up Gustavsson.
Wilson said Joey Crabb would jump into the spot of Matt Frattin, who was sent down to the Marlies of the AHL on Tuesday. Defenseman Jake Gardiner is dealing with a sore foot and will be a game-time decision against the Devils.
We had the Devils' lineup earlier; here's what the Leafs lineup likely will look like:
Joffrey Lupul - Tim Connolly - Phil Kessel
Clarke MacArthur - Mikhail Grabovski - Nikolai Kulemin
Matthew Lombardi - Tyler Bozak - Joey Crabb
Mike Brown - David Steckel - Philippe Dupuis
Dion Phaneuf - Carl Gunnarsson
Luke Schenn - Jake Gardiner
John-Michael Liles - Mike Komisarek
Jonas Gustavsson will start in goal; James Reimer, if healthy, will be the backup. If Reimer can't go, Ben Scrivens will sit behind Gustavsson.
If Gardiner's foot injury prevents him from playing, Cody Franson would replace him.
For more on tonight's game, check out the preview here.
Follow Dave Lozo on Twitter: @DaveLozo