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Photo Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

William Nylander fought through food poisoning to play in Maple Leafs’ playoffs opener

It turns out, William Nylander wasn’t just battling the Tampa Bay Lightning on Monday.

The Toronto Maple Leafs forward was embroiled in combat with his body after a suspected case of food poisoning the day of the game.

”I was puking that day, but whatever,” Nylander said. “I think it was sushi for lunch, I haven’t gone to that restaurant in a long time and it might have been where I got it.”

It didn’t show in the players’ performance in a 5-0 win against the Lightning to take Game 1 of their first round playoffs series. He had expected-goals rate of 63 per cent on Monday, according to NaturalStatTrick.com, and had an excellent breakaway chance in the first period that nearly converted.

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Despite feeling ill, the thought of sitting out of his club’s playoffs opener never crossed the 26-year-old’s mind.

“I mean, it’s Game 1, you’ve got to be ready,” Nylander said. “It is what it is and I thought we battled as a team.”

Nylander did not participate in practice on Tuesday as he allowed his body to recover.

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”He ran out of gas a bit in the second half of the game,” Keefe said of Nylander. “That’s part of the reason why he didn’t practice with us, just making sure he could get some food and fluids stuff into him which he wasn’t able to do yesterday…That’s the playoffs.”

Nylander will continue his third-line role against the Lightning in Game 2 on Wednesday, alongside David Kampf and Pierre Engvall, who also missed practice on Tuesday.

The Swede scored 34 goals and 36 assists and 80 points to set career highs in all three categories.

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