Nieuwendyk 'probably not going to play'

Updated: April 27, 2004, 3:21 PM ET
Associated Press

TORONTO -- Toronto forward Joe Nieuwendyk will likely miss Game 2 of the Maple Leafs' second-round playoff series because of an undisclosed injury.

"He's probably not going to play," Toronto coach Pat Quinn said Saturday. Quinn declined to specify what the injury is. Game 2 is Sunday night in Philadelphia.

Nieuwendyk, who missed a game against Ottawa in the opening round with a back injury, didn't practice on Saturday. Quinn said he played hurt in a 3-1 loss in Game 1 on Thursday night.

"He shouldn't have been playing," Quinn said. "We could see that his play wasn't where it needed to be and where it has been. It probably wasn't a good idea that he played, and eventually he had to pull himself."

Nieuwendyk has a team-high five goals in seven playoff games.

Captain Mats Sundin, meanwhile, might be ready for Game 2. Sundin, who has missed five straight games with a leg injury, looked good in practice on Saturday.

"Certainly, the way it feels right now, I'll be back for this series for sure," Sundin said. "It feels a lot better."

Sundin will decide whether he can play after Sunday's morning skate.

"It's a huge improvement in the last three or four days," he said.

Quinn said they expected Sundin to return during the second round.

"We're close to having him in, but we're not certain when that's going to be," Quinn said. "We were hoping to have him mid-series and that might still be a possibility. He did pretty well this morning."

Sundin is third on the Maple Leafs' career playoff points list with 69. In 78 postseason contests, Sundin has 32 goals and 37 assists.


Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press

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