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Matthews out for Maple Leafs against Wild

Center will miss first NHL game, day to day with upper-body injury

NHL.com @NHL

Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews will miss the game against the Minnesota Wild on Wednesday (7:30 p.m. ET; SN, TVA Sports, FS-N+, NHL.TV) with an upper-body injury. He's day to day.

"Sometimes you get bumped or you get hacked and things happen," coach Mike Babcock said after the morning skate.

 

[RELATED: Fantasy impact of Matthews' injury on Maple Leafs lineup]

 

Babcock said forward Patrick Marleau will move to center in place of Matthews, playing between left wing James van Riemsdyk and right wing Zach Hyman.

"We have guys that can jump in and play," defenseman Morgan Rielly said. "Our depth is a proud point for this team so we'll be OK."

It will be the first time in Matthews' NHL career that he has missed a game. He played all 82 games last season and won the Calder Trophy as the League's top rookie after finishing with 69 points (40 goals, 29 assists). Matthews leads the Maple Leafs in scoring this season with 19 points (10 goals, nine assists) in 16 games.

Matthews, the No. 1 pick in the 2016 NHL Draft, played 21:11 and had an assist in Toronto's 4-3 shootout win against the Vegas Golden Knights on Monday despite what Babcock called soreness. Matthews said then he had been dealing with a lingering injury, which he aggravated during a 6-4 loss at the St. Louis Blues on Saturday. He did not practice Tuesday.

"Obviously Auston's a very important piece of our puzzle and we'd like him to play as many games as possible," center Nazem Kadri said. "But no matter who is in or out, I think we have guys to fill the void and certain guys are just going to have to step up."

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