NHL News

Leafs’ goalie Samsonov ruled out due to injury

Maple Leafs starting goaltender Ilya Samsonov left Game 3 of Toronto’s Eastern Conference second-round series against the Florida Panthers on Sunday after suffering an injury early in the second period. He did not return and was officially ruled out prior to the third period.

Rookie Joseph Woll took over in net. Matt Murray — who wasn’t dressed and was watching from the press box — was called down to suit up and serve as Woll’s backup.

The second period had just started when Samsonov was bowled over by Leafs defenseman Luke Schenn falling into him. Samsonov appeared to get hit in the head during the collision and was down on the ice for several minutes talking to trainer Paul Ayotte before skating off under his own power.

Samsonov is in his first season with the Leafs after signing a one-year free agent contract in July. Originally pegged as a probable backup to Murray — who Toronto traded for in July and has two years left on his deal — but injuries to Murray thrust Samsonov into the starter’s role and what turned into a career-best season with a 27-10-5 record, .919 save percentage and 2.33 goals against average.

The postseason started poorly for Samsonov. He was pulled from Game 1 of Toronto’s Eastern Conference first-round series against Tampa after giving up six goals. But he settled in from there to lead the Leafs to their first second-round appearance in nearly 20 years.

Now it could be on Woll to help keep the Leafs’ season alive as they trail the Panthers in the series 2-0. Woll was drafted by Toronto in the third round, 62nd overall, in 2016 and made his NHL debut in the 2021-22 season. The St. Louis native has collected 12 regular-season appearances from there — including seven this year — going 9-2-0 with a .922 SV% and 2.40 GAA.

Replacing Samsonov in Game 1 of that first-round series was Woll’s first Stanley Cup playoffs experience.

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