Hertl was activated before Friday night's game against Colorado. Hertl was injured in a knee-to-knee collision with Los Angeles captain Dustin Brown on Dec. 19 at Staples Center. He had surgery on Dec. 31 to repair the posterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments and has been skating with the team in recent weeks.
Hertl's return provides a big boost before the playoffs begin next week against the Kings. The 20-year-old Hertl was a strong Calder Trophy candidate with 15 goals and 10 assists in his first 35 games, including a four-goal performance against the New York Rangers in his third game.
Life's about opportunity and how you respond to that opportunity, and obviously he must have some swagger about him, some confidence about him, because he was solid. He made some good saves. He was 6-foot-3 on every shot, which is a good thing for a goalie. He played well. We got a win.
— Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock on rookie goaltender Garret Sparks, who made 24 saves in his first NHL start, a 3-0 win vs. Oilers
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