Leafs dedicate Game 2 win to injured Tavares: 'This one's for him'

Andrew Lahodynskyj / National Hockey League / Getty

Toronto Maple Leafs captain John Tavares was on his teammates' minds during their Game 2 win against the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday.

"This one's for (Tavares), obviously. He's our guy, he's our captain," Leafs star Auston Matthews told Sportsnet's Kyle Bukauskas following the 5-1 win.

He added: "When a big piece of your team goes down like that, everybody's got to respond. Guys that come in have got to respond, and I think we did a really good job tonight."

Tavares was stretchered off early in Game 1 on Thursday after taking a knee to the head from Corey Perry. He suffered a knee injury and concussion on the play and will be sidelined for at least two weeks.

Leafs veteran Jason Spezza acknowledged that the club will need to have a relatively deep run if Tavares is going to rejoin his teammates this postseason.

"The only way we can see John (again) is to win hockey games," Spezza said, according to TSN's Kristen Shilton. "We want to do well for him, so we're going to try and win as many games as we can and get him back in the lineup."

"He's so selfless," Spezza added, according to The Athletic's James Mirtle. "He's trying to calm us down, even the night it happened ... That's why he's a leader."

The Leafs and Canadiens will play back-to-back contests on Monday and Tuesday in Montreal.

Leafs dedicate Game 2 win to injured Tavares: 'This one's for him'
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