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Auston Matthews skates ahead of Game 7, status unclear with season on the line

Centre Auston Matthews of the Toronto Maple Leafs hasn’t been ruled out of tonight’s Game 7 against the Boston Bruins.

But head coach Sheldon Keefe seemed to suggest following the morning skate his best player won’t return to the fold with Toronto’s season on the line.

Matthews hasn’t played since Game 4 of the first-round series when he was pulled from action by doctors during the second intermission because of an illness.

The ailing sniper took part in the Leafs’ full morning skate at TD Garden — his longest on-ice stretch with the team since exiting the lineup April 24.

Keefe said the Leafs are “proceeding” as they have been with the forward group, which appeared to indicate Matthews is likely to sit for a third straight elimination contest.

Toronto trailed the series 3-1 before securing a 2-1 overtime victory in Boston in Game 5 and a 2-1 home win Thursday to force tonight’s winner-take-all finale.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 4, 2024.

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