Tyler Bozak says he will play for Maple Leafs in Game 1

USA TODAY Sports

The Maple Leafs will have their first line center available to them in Game 1 vs. the Bruins.

Tyler Bozak told reporters that he will play in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, having apparently recovered enough from his injured shoulder. Bozak missed the final two games of the regular season with that injured shoulder and the Maple Leafs called him day-to-day.

"It's really important." Bozak said. "We've come a long way as a team the last couple of years and especially this year.

"We've played pretty good hockey together as a group and it would be tough to sit back and watch the most important time of the year."

The Leafs will be thrilled to have their first line center available to them, especially in the face-off circle. The Bruins led the NHL in face-off percentage, winning 56.4% of their draws and Bozak is the Leafs' top face-off man. Without Bozak, Toronto would have had serious problems winning draws, but with him they have a chance, especially with the match-up happy Randy Carlyle behind the bench.

Bozak is expected to return to the top line with Phil Kessel and James van Riemsdyk against the Bruins. He has 12 goals and 16 assists in 46 games this season.

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