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More injury concerns for the Maple Leafs? (Updated)

Roman Polak

Toronto Maple Leafs’ Roman Polak, of the Czech Republic, as seen making his return appearance to St. Louis during the first period of an NHL hockey game Saturday, Jan. 17, 2015, in St. Louis. Polak did not return to St. Louis after the off-season. (AP Photo/Billy Hurst)


Last night, the concern was for goalie Frederik Andersen.

He was knocked out of Saturday’s game versus the Pittsburgh Penguins after a collision with Tom Sestito.

Today, there were more injury worries for the Toronto Maple Leafs after a pair of defensemen exited Sunday’s game versus Columbus.

Nikita Zaitsev took a hard hit along the boards from Nick Foligno at the end of the first period, and slowly made his way back to the bench.

He came out for the second period and played one shift before leaving again for the dressing room.

Update: After initially calling it a lower-body injury, the Leafs changed that to an upper-body injury, while still maintaining that Zaitsev will not return.

Fellow defender Roman Polak also left for the dressing room late in the second period, reducing the Maple Leafs to four defensemen, with one period remaining to secure third place in the Atlantic Division.

The Leafs added that Polak would return to the game. He has since re-joined his teammates at the bench.

The Maple Leafs need only a single point today to earn third in the division and a first-round playoff match-up with the Ottawa Senators. Lose in regulation, and the Maple Leafs face Washington in the opening round.

Columbus had a 3-2 lead going into the third period.