Sparks out 'long-term' with lower-body inury

Toronto Maples Leafs goalie sensation Garret Sparks will be out “long-term” with a lower-body injury, coach Mike Babcock told reporters on Friday.

Sparks was injured in the first period of Thursday’s 5-4 overtime loss to the San Jose Sharks. He skated to the bench and then went into the locker room after forward Patrick Marleau scored to make it 2-0 Sharks.

Forward Nick Spaling was also injured in the contest. Babcock said Spaling has an upper-body injury.

“It looks like they’re (out) long-term,” Babcock said at a news conference.

Sparks made his fifth start of his NHL career — and his fifth consecutive start in net overall — on Thursday and had been stellar as he replaced Jonathan Bernier, who has struggled all season. Sparks, 22, is 3-1-0 with a .915 save percentage.

Bernier, who is still seeking his first win of the season, replaced Sparks on Thursday.

Maple Leafs are still minus goalie James Reimer, who has been sidelined most of the last three weeks…

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