Jussi Rynnas, who was shelled in his first NHL start by the Philadelphia Flyers, is not going to find things much easier in his second one.
Thanks to a bruise on the inside of Jonas Gustavsson’s left knee, Rynnas almost certainly will be in goal for the Toronto Maple Leafs when they face the Buffalo Sabres and goaltender Ryan Miller on Saturday at the Air Canada Centre.
Gustavsson took part in the Maple Leafs’ practice on Friday but did not appear to be going full-out. He said afterward he will have to “wait and see” if he will be able to play on Saturday.
“At least it feels better today, that’s all I can say,” Gustavsson said.
The goaltender was injured in the pre-game warmup on Thursday when a shot hit the inside of his knee in a spot that was not covered by padding. Rynnas then had to face the Flyers in what turned out to be a 7-1 beating for the Leafs.
Leafs head coach Randy Carlyle said a decision on Gustavsson would be made after he received treatment following Friday’s practice. If Gustavsson cannot play, he will not dress as a backup either, which means Ben Scrivens would likely be called up from the Leafs’ Toronto Marlies farm team.
It was determined on Friday that injured Leafs forward Dave Steckel has a slight tear of the medial collateral ligament in his knee. Carlyle said the team doctors determined Steckel cannot do any more damage to his knee and may play again this season although his status is day-to-day.
The Sabres were on a five-game winning streak before Friday night’s game against the Pittsburgh Penguins and made a remarkable comeback since late January to join the fight for eighth place in the Eastern Conference.