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Leafs Playoff Fate May Have Impact On Amerks – Marlies Series

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The Toronto Maple Leafs are on the brink of elimination, as they trail the Florida Panthers 3-0 in their second-round series and play Game 4 in Sunrise, FL on Wednesday.

The length of how long that series lasts could have a significant impact on the Rochester Americans, as the Buffalo Sabres AHL affiliate open the North Division Final series against the Toronto Marlies on Thursday.

With the injury to Matt Murray, Marlies goalie Joseph Woll has been serving as the backup to starter Ilya Samsonov through the first and second round. Samsonov was injured in the first period of Game 3 on Sunday and Woll stepped in and performed well in the 3-2 overtime loss. Samsonov has been ruled out for Game 4 and Woll was named as the starter by Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe.

In spite of being categorized as being day-to-day, it is unlikely that Samsonov will be able to play anytime soon, which means that as long as Toronto is alive in the series, they will need Woll either as their starter or to back up Murray.

During the first-round series against Tampa Bay, goalie Erik Kallgren was recalled to serve as the emergency backup, forcing the Marlies to go with third-stringer Keith Petruzzelli early in the series against the Utica Comets. Petruzzelli gave up 12 goals in two home games against the Comets, which required the Leafs to send Kallgren back to the AHL to help Toronto eliminate Utica in four games.

On Wednesday, the Leafs recalled prospect Dennis Hildeby to serve as the EBUG, allowing Kallgren to be the starter in Game 1 against the Americans on Thursday.

Woll was an All-Star for the Marlies this season, with a 16-4-1 record, 2.37 GAA, and .927 save percentage. If the Leafs are eliminated, it is likely that they would send the 24-year-old goalie to help their affiliate in the Calder Cup Playoffs, giving the AHL club a step up in their series against the Amerks.

Rochester and Toronto split eight games during the regular season and the addition of one of the top goalies in the AHL this year could swing the odds in favor of the Marlies.