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Nieuwendyk 'getting better every day'

TORONTO -- Maple Leafs center Joe Nieuwendyk will sit out
Game 3 of Toronto's second-round playoff series with Philadelphia
on Wednesday night, the second straight game he'll miss because of
back problems.

Nieuwendyk, who leads Toronto with five playoff goals, skated
Wednesday for the first time since Game 1 of the series last
Thursday.

"I'm getting better every day," Nieuwendyk said. "I think
tomorrow I'll get a practice in and step it up a little bit and
then go from there."

The Leafs, who host Game 4 on Friday, trail the best-of-seven
series 2-0.

Clarke Wilm took Nieuwendyk's place in a 2-1 loss at
Philadelphia on Sunday. But Leafs coach Pat Quinn is considering
shuffling his lineup by going with gritty forward Wade Belak, who
has yet to play this postseason.

The Leafs, who have just two goals against the Flyers, could
certainly use Nieuwendyk, who's scored almost a third of Toronto's
16 playoff goals.

Philadelphia defenseman Kim Johnsson could return for Game 4,
coach Ken Hitchcock said. Johnsson is considered doubtful for
Wednesday and missed the first two games of the series with a
broken bone in his right hand.