Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Jonathan Bernier will miss at least three weeks with an MCL strain.
If that timeline proves accurate, Bernier would miss the remainder of the regular season, which ends April 13, and more than likely at least the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs if the Maple Leafs qualify.
The Maple Leafs were one point behind the Columbus Blue Jackets for the Eastern Conference's second wild-card spot into the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Blue Jackets host the Chicago Blackhawks on Friday, one of two games in hand they have on the Maple Leafs. Toronto hosts the Winnipeg Jets on Saturday.
Bernier left a 4-3 win against the Boston Bruins on Thursday in the third period with a lower-body injury after a collision with Bruins forward Patrice Bergeron.
James Reimer, who helped the Maple Leafs break a lengthy postseason drought last season, is back in a position to be No. 1 with Drew MacIntyre recalled from the Toronto Marlies of the American Hockey League.
Bernier was in his fifth game back after missing time because of a strained groin sustained March 13 against his former team, the Los Angeles Kings.
Bernier, the 11th pick in the 2006 NHL Draft, was acquired from the Kings last summer in a trade for goalie Ben Scrivens, forward Matt Frattin and a second-round draft pick. After never having played more than 25 games in a season for the Kings, he appeared in 55 games this season for the Maple Leafs and had a career-high 26 wins with a 2.68 goals-against average and .918 save percentage.