TORONTO — Ryan O’Reilly is ready to return. And into the lion’s den he will go.
The Toronto Maple Leafs centre declared himself fully healthy following Wednesday’s practice after missing a month with a broken finger ahead of Thursday’s game in Boston against the first-place Bruins.
O’Reilly suffered the injury March 4 in Vancouver when he took a friendly fire shot off his left hand against the Canucks that required surgery.
Acquired from the St. Louis Blues in a blockbuster mid-February trade, the 2019 Stanley Cup champion and Conn Smythe Trophy winner as playoff MVP had three goals and two assists in eight games with the Leafs before getting hurt.
Toronto is locked into a first-round playoff matchup with the Tampa Lightning, but still needs to clinch home-ice advantage for the series.
Boston, meanwhile, is chasing regular-season history. The Bruins are two wins short of the record 62 in a campaign held by the 1995-96 Detroit Red Wings and the 2018-19 Lightning with five games left on their schedule.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 5, 2023.
The Canadian Press