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Maple Leafs' Thornton out over 4 weeks, Matthews to miss Friday's game

Toronto Maple Leafs centre Joe Thornton (97) battles for the puck against Winnipeg Jets defenceman Neal Pionk (4) during first period NHL hockey action in Toronto on Monday, January 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette THE CANADIAN PRESS

The Toronto Maple Leafs will be missing two forwards in Friday night’s rematch against the visiting Edmonton Oilers.

Maple Leafs coach Sheldon Keefe says star centre Auston Matthews will sit out because of upper-body soreness.

Meanwhile, veteran forward Joe Thornton will miss at least four weeks with a rib fracture.

Thornton was hurt in Wednesday’s 3-1 loss to the Oilers. He has been placed on long-term injured reserve, a move that helps the Leafs’ salary-cap situation.

The buds will also be without forward Nick Robertson, who was similarly placed on LTIR recently.

Matthews left the ice before the formal practice session on Thursday, with Keefe saying he wasn’t feeling well coming out of the loss to Edmonton.

The Leafs (3-2) are tied for second with the Winnipeg Jets in the North Division, two points behind the Montreal Canadiens.

The Oilers (2-3) are tied for fifth with the Vancouver Canucks.

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