Tavares says he’ll return to Leafs’ lineup vs. Kings after 7-game absence

The captain is back.

Toronto Maple Leafs star John Tavares says he will play Tuesday against the Los Angeles Kings after missing the last seven games with a broken finger, according to the Canadian Press' Josh Clipperton.

The Leafs held their head above water without Tavares, going 3-2-2 in his absence, but will certainly welcome back the team's leading goal-scorer from a year ago.

The Leafs still averaged 3.14 goals per game during the seven-game stretch, but the power play suffered, going just 2-for-22 without Tavares.

The 29-year-old had three goals and four assists in eight games before suffering the injury against the Washington Capitals on Oct. 16.

Tavares will draw in for fellow veteran Jason Spezza, who had two points - including his first goal as a Leaf - on Saturday against the Philadelphia Flyers, head coach Mike Babcock said, according to TSN's Kristen Shilton.

The Leafs will also make two other lineup changes. Jake Muzzin said he's good to go after leaving Tuesday's game against the Caps with a charley horse and missing Saturday's tilt versus the Flyers for personal reasons. He'll sub in for Martin Marincin. Nic Petan, who was just recalled after recording five points in two games with the AHL's Toronto Marlies, will also rejoin the lineup in place of Dmytro Timashov.

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