Tavares plays in Maple Leafs' preseason opener

Steve Russell / Toronto Star / Getty

John Tavares suited up in a game for the first time since being stretchered off in the opening contest of the Toronto Maple Leafs' first-round playoff series against the Montreal Canadiens in May.

The Maple Leafs captain was in the roster for Toronto's 2021-22 preseason matchup versus the Canadiens on Saturday night at Scotiabank Arena.

Tavares required the stretcher in Game 1 of the postseason after taking an inadvertent knee to the head from then-Canadiens forward Corey Perry. Tavares was hospitalized and discharged the next morning but didn't play again in the playoffs.

In late August, the Maple Leafs center said he was "doing great" and hadn't experienced any "hiccups" in his recovery.

The 30-year-old has played three campaigns with Toronto after signing a seven-year, $77-million contract with the club as a free agent in July 2018. He registered 19 goals and 31 assists over 56 regular-season games in 2021.

The Maple Leafs will play six preseason contests this year, including three against the Canadiens. The two clubs will meet again Monday at the Bell Centre in Montreal, and then again on Oct. 5 in Toronto. The Leafs will play the Ottawa Senators in their other three exhibition games, with Toronto wrapping up its preseason schedule Oct. 9.

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Tavares plays in Maple Leafs' preseason opener
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