Toronto Maple Leafs Considering Dramatic Lineup Change For Game 4

The Toronto Maple Leafs pulled out an overtime win over the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 3 to take a 2-1 series lead, but head coach Sheldon Keefe realizes it wasn't the team's best effort, nevertheless. The Leafs were outshot 39-27. 

Toronto's top line combo of Mitch Marner and Auston Matthews continue to be a positive for the team, but Keefe says he "will consider" splitting up Matthews and Marner to start Game 4 Monday night to try to 'spread the wealth.'

"We had three lines that were really struggling (in Game 3) and that was something for me to manage and try to find ways through that. In the 3rd period we split up Auston and Mitch and thought maybe we could get a little bit of help to the other lines." And when asked if he'd do it again for Game 4, he said "yeah, I'd consider it, yeah."

Marner has eight points in the three games thus far, placing him second in NHL postseason scoring (behind only the Edmonton Oilers' Leon Draisaitl, who has nine points in four games). 

Matthews recorded his first playoff goal this season in Game 3 to go along with four assists.

Keefe also indicated that there are some other "game-time decisions" that will have to be made, but wouldn't divulge who that involves. 

The Bolts are expected to have 50-goal scorer Brayden Point back in the lineup, though defenseman Erik Cernak will still be out, after taking that illegal headshot from Michael Bunting in Game 1. 

Photo: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports