Maple Leafs' Matthews Out Against Oilers, Thornton Out Minimum Four Weeks

The Toronto Maple Leafs will have a whole new look when they take on the Edmonton Oilers on Friday. Auston Matthews is day-to-day with an upper-body injury, while Joe Thornton is out a month with a rib fracture.
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Auston Matthews will sit out with an upper-body injury when the Toronto Maple Leafs host the Edmonton Oilers on Friday.

Matthews took the ice for practice on Thursday, but left before the session started and did not return.

"I'm not too concerned," Maple Leafs coach Sheldon Keefe said. "There was a possibility that he would play today but he just still wasn't feeling right in that sense so we're going to give it a little bit more time."

Matthews has two goals and three assists in five games this season. 

The Maple Leafs will be without veteran forward Joe Thornton for at least a month after the forward sustained a rib fracture in the third period of the team's 3-1 loss to the Oilers.

With two of the three forwards on the first line out on Friday, Keefe had to do some line shuffling.

At practice on Thursday, the Maple Leafs shuffled the forward lines with the expectation that Thornton was out for an extended period of time.

When Matthews departed practice, they ran lines with Adam Brooks centering a line with Jimmy Vesey and Mitch Marner.

Zach Hyman moved up to the second line with play right wing with William Nylander and John Tavares.

Although Brooks will make his season debut tonight, it's not clear how much shuffling the Maple Leafs make to their lines until the warmup later tonight.

Forward Pierre Engvall will also make his season debut while Alexander Barabanov will also return.

The Maple Leafs will return to playing with 12 forwards and six defensemen after skating with seven defensemen for the last two games.

With confirmations of Engvall, Barabanov and Brooks entering the lineup, it's likely defensemen Mikko Lehtonen is the odd man out. The addition of Engvall adds $1.075 million to the team's tight salary cap. With Barabanov adding a $925,000 cap hit and Thornton likely headed to long term injured reserve, the Maple Leafs don't have cap space to carry an additional defenseman like Lehtonen on the roster.



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