The Toronto Maple Leafs will start Petr Mrazek in goal for Sunday’s Heritage Classic against the Buffalo Sabres, head coach Sheldon Keefe confirmed after optional practice on Friday.
Mrazek was pulled from Thursday’s game against the Arizona Coyotes after allowing four goals on 12 shots.
“To be honest, I wanted to do it after two,” Keefe said after the game. “It’s hard. It’s hard mentally on the guys.”
Prospect Erik Källgren went from an emergency call-up for morning skate to making his NHL debut mid-game with Toronto trailing 4-1. He held the fort and earned a standings point while kicking out 10 saves as the Leafs mounted yet another comeback, scoring three unanswered in the third period.
Jack Campbell suffered a rib injury that will keep him out of the lineup for at least two weeks. This would open the door for Mrazek to seize the crease.
The veteran signed a three-year, $11.4-million contract in the summer with the Leafs but has struggled this season, posting a 10-5-0 record with a 3.44 goals-against average and an .884 save percentage.
Veteran centre Jason Spezza will also draw back into the lineup after spending the last two games in the press box as a healthy scratch. The 38-year-old has 10 goals and 20 points in 52 games this season.