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2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs

Toronto Starting Woll in Net Against Florida for Game 4

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Toronto goalie Joseph Woll gets ready to make a save of Florida’s Sam Bennett in the third period of Game 3 on Sunday night in Sunrise. // Photo by Roger Lee Photographer (561) 866-2000

SUNRISE — Toronto coach Sheldon Keefe said on Tuesday that starting goalie Ilya Samsonov is unavailable for Game 4 against the host Florida Panthers tonight at 7 and that Joseph Woll would get the start.

Woll, who gave up 3 goals on 21 shots after replacing Samsonov early in the second period of Game 3, will be backed up by former Pittsburgh goalie Matt Murray.

The Panthers will go with Sergei Bobrovsky as he tries to extend his — and Florida’s — six-game playoff winning streak and end this series tonight.

Early in the second period of Game 3 on Sunday, Carter Verhaeghe charged in on Samsonov with Toronto defenseman Luke Schenn trying to chase him down.

Schenn tripped Verhaeghe to draw a penalty, but then went barreling into his goalie.

Samsonov left and did not return.

Woll, 24, has spent most of the past four seasons playing for the AHL Toronto Marlies with just 13 regular season games over the past three seasons.

He is considered the future goalie of the Leafs — and on Wednesday, he will try and extend their season.

Keefe said Murray was not considered to start.

“As I have maintained, we have a lot of confidence in him,” Keefe said of Woll. “We’re excited for him to get this opportunity.’’

FLORIDA HOCKEY NOW

The Maple Leafs know they have a long road ahead of them if they want to move on to the Eastern Conference finals.

NHL teams have rallied from a 3-0 series deficit in the past but the odds are not good.

The Panthers know this series is not over and winning the final game of a series is the toughest one to win.

— The Panthers nominated captain Sasha Barkov for the King Clancy Memorial Trophy for his work on and off the ice.

— Toronto is down 3-0 in this series basically because they have gotten nothing from their four best players.

If you would have told the Panthers the likes of Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner, William Nylander and John Tavares would have no goals and (checks notes) four combined points — they would have said they would be up 3-0 in this series. And they are.

— The Panthers redesigned their official Florida license tags which are available now.

— Florida may have slipped into the NHL Playoffs and were down 3-1 to the Boston Bruins in the opening round. But now that they have a 3-0 series lead on the Maple Leafs, Florida is the betting favorite to win the Stanley Cup.

Sam Reinhart has become a trusted voice in the Florida locker room, a leader both players and coaches come to when they need to talk things out. He’s also a pretty good player, eh?

— The Panthers called up a ton of Charlotte players before Sunday’s Game 3 win over the Leafs but made another official on Monday when they signed 2021 first-round pick Mackie Samoskevich. He’s eligible to play immediately as he burns the first year of his ELC,

Anthony Duclair set the tone for the Panthers on Sunday night as he played his best game since returning from his Achilles injury.

— The Panthers are all-in when it comes to the playoff beard tradition although some are wearing it better than others. Radko Gudas, obviously, is the Beard King of the Panthers. But who else is making their mark?

— A lot of video is up on the FHN YouTube Channel including Game 3 postgame reaction from Paul Maurice, Sergei Bobrovsky, Anton Lundell, Aaron Ekblad and Sam Reinhart.

There is also Tuesday’s comments from Maurice, Matthew Tkachuk and Gus Forsling.

To see all the videos, you can click the embedded videos below or head directly to the FHN YouTube Channel RIGHT HERE to see everything all in one place.

If you hit subscribe (it’s free), you will know when new content comes up.

NHL NEWS/NATIONAL HOCKEY NOW

Well, whomever comes out of the Florida-Toronto series appears to be headed to Raleigh to face the Hurricanes.

Carolina took a 3-1 series lead by scoring five times in the second period in a 6-1 win over the host Devils. The series now heads back to North Carolina.

— The Dallas Stars evened their series in Seattle.

— ESPN host Jon Anderson apologized for an insensitive remark about Vegas defenseman Zach Whitecloud.

Jim Montgomery was very forthcoming, but the Boston Bruins coach is now on the hot seat after their loss to the Panthers.

Washington Capitals GM Brian MacLellan is excited with his team’s draft spot.

— The phones were buzzing in Chicago as the Blackhawks got a financial boost after winning the Connor Bedard lottery.

Gabriel Landeskog’s future is up in question as he will have surgery and miss all of next season for the Colorado Avalanche.

MacKenzie Weegar thinks Mikael Backlund could be the next captain of the Calgary Flames.

FLORIDA PANTHERS ON DECK
STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS
EASTERN CONFERENCE SEMIFINALS
TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS (ATL2) AT FLORIDA PANTHERS (WC2)
GAME 4 (Florida Leads 3-0)

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