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Leafs' goaltender Andersen participates in full practice after leaving game

Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Frederik Andersen was back on the ice for practice Tuesday, one day after being struck in the head and leaving a game against Anaheim.
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Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Frederik Andersen was back on the ice for practice Tuesday, one day after being struck in the head and leaving a game against Anaheim.

Andersen was hit by Ducks forward Corey Perry's left skate during the second period of Monday's 7-4 victory and didn't return. But he was a full participant during team drills at practice the next morning.

"I feel good, it was a scary moment," Andersen said. "We made sure we did everything right and I feel good today."

"His body passed me and his skate caught me in the jaw," Andersen added. "My neck and body was really sore"

Andersen went through the NHL's standard concussion protocol following the incident and a decision was made not to return to the game.

Although he returned to practice, the Leafs stopped short of declaring him ready to play Wednesday night when they host the Nashville Predators.

"I haven't talked to Steve (Leafs goaltending coach Steve Briere) and I haven't talked to the medical people yet so we'll make that decision tomorrow," Leafs coach Mike Babcock said.

Andersen was also cautious when asked about his status for Wednesday.

"We'll see," he said.

The Leafs have posted a 31-19-5 record this season (67 points) and have a 17-point cushion over divisional rivals, Detroit Red Wings, Montreal Canadiens and Florida Panthers (50 points) for the third and final Atlantic Division playoff spot.

A lengthy absence from Andersen could have helped teams narrow the gap.

Andersen has had neck- and head-related injuries throughout his five-year NHL career.

He was sidelined by upper-body injuries believed to be head- and neck-related over three different stints last season — his first with the Leafs — missing six games.

The 28-year-old Andersen has started in 45 games for Toronto this season. He has posted a 25-15-4 record with a .921 save percentage and 2.66 goals-against average.

"When Freddy went down it was pretty nerve-racking," Leafs defenceman Jake Gardiner said. "It's great to see him back here today."

Andersen spent three seasons with Anaheim before he was traded to the Leafs in June, 2016, and signed to a five-year $25-million(US) contract.

Andersen said that Perry, his former Ducks teammate, reached out to after the game

"He texted me right away to make sure it wasn't too bad," Andersen said. 

David Alter, The Canadian Press




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