Maple Leafs’ Samsonov returns to lineup, to start vs. Predators

Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Ilya Samsonov stops the puck during the third period of an NHL hockey game against the Chicago Blackhawks Friday, Nov. 24, 2023, in Chicago. (Erin Hooley/AP)

After missing the past two games with an illness, Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Ilya Samsonov makes his return to the lineup and will start in net against the Nashville Predators, head coach Sheldon Keefe told reporters.

Samsonov’s return comes just in time, after Joseph Woll — who had been making starts in Samsonov’s absence — is out week-to-week with a high ankle sprain suffered on Thursday.

Samsonov will have 33-year-old Martin Jones as a backup, who remains with the team after being an emergency call-up from the AHL.

Samsonov has started 10 games for the Maple Leafs this season, posting an .878 save percentage and a 3.58 goals against average as the team struggles to meet pre-season expectations.

Watch the Maple Leafs take on the Predators on Hockey Night in Canada on Sportsnet and Sportsnet+, with coverage starting at 7 p.m. ET / 4 p.m. PT.

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