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Auston Matthews illness update: Maple Leafs star will be game-time decision for Game 5 vs. Bruins

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With the Toronto Maple Leafs facing elimination in Game 5 against the Boston Bruins, the status of their biggest star is still murky. Auston Matthews, who has been dealing with a lingering illness, will be a game-time decision on Tuesday night.

Matthews missed practice on Monday, but he was on the ice for the early portion of Tuesday’s optional morning skate. However, he left before drills began. Following the skate, Maple Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe said Matthews’ status for Game 5 has not been determined yet.

“Obviously he was on the ice today, so he’s working through things to try to make himself available to play,” Keefe said, according to NHL.com. “No determination at this time.”

With Matthews limited by the illness, the Maple Leafs’ offense has sputtered in the first four games against the Bruins. Toronto has averaged 1.75 goals per game thus far, and if Matthews can’t go in Game 5, staying alive in the series becomes a steep uphill climb for the Leafs.

Matthews played through the illness in Game 3, and he attempted to power through once again in Game 4 but wasn’t able to do so. The team doctors ended up pulling Matthews from Saturday’s game.

“We thought the last couple of days would help us,” Keefe said. “But, for whatever reason, it’s not one of those run-of-the-mill type of illnesses that sort of comes and goes. This one has lingered, and the effects have lingered and gotten worse when he’s got on the ice and is asserting himself.”

When it comes to the team’s three superstar forwards, Matthews has definitely been the most productive to this point. He’s tied with fellow forwards Max Domi and Tyler Bertuzzi for the team lead in points (3). The star center registered a goal and two assists in the team’s Game 2 win, including scoring the game-winning goal.

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