Photo credit:Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports
Matthew Knies exits Game 2 vs. Panthers after taking heavy hit from Sam Bennett
By Mike Gould9 months ago
Toronto Maple Leafs forward Matthew Knies was ruled out for the final two periods of Thursday’s playoff game against the Florida Panthers after taking a heavy bodycheck from Sam Bennett in the first period.
Bennett was not assessed a penalty after slamming Knies into the end boards late in the opening frame at Scotiabank Arena. Knies left the game for good after logging 5:33 over seven shifts in the first period.
The Maple Leafs led the Panthers by a 2–1 score at the time Knies made his exit, although Aleksander Barkov and Gustav Forsling scored 47 seconds apart early in the second period to give Florida the lead.
The Panthers currently lead the Maple Leafs one game to none in their Eastern Conference semifinal playoff series, with the Maple Leafs at risk of heading into Game 3 on Sunday in a 2–0 hole with the following two games on the road.
Knies, 20, has collected four points (one goal, three assists) through his first seven games of the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs. It remains to be seen when the Maple Leafs will provide an additional update on his condition and whether he’ll be able to return for Games 3 or 4 in Sunrise, Fla.
The Maple Leafs originally selected Knies in the second round (No. 57 overall) of the 2021 NHL Draft. The six-foot-three winger, who shoots left, signed with Toronto in April after wrapping up a successful two-year career at the University of Minnesota.
Knies collected 36 goals and 75 points in 73 games over two seasons with the Golden Gophers, helping the team reach the 2023 NCAA National Championship and being named a finalist for the Hobey Baker Award the same year. However, he suffered losses on both fronts: Quinnipiac beat Minnesota in the National Championship Final, while Michigan’s Adam Fantilli won the Hobey Baker as the NCAA’s top collegiate men’s hockey player.
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