Leafs Defeat Stanley Cup Finalists...Again

What.A.Game. The Toronto Maple Leafs defeat the New York Rangers for the second time this season. The Leafs managed to net 5 goals against Cam Talbot, 3 alone in the first period. Scorers included forwards from three of out of four lines tonight – almost unheard of for the Maple Leafs.  

The first period of this game rang eerily similar to the last game Toronto played. Chris Kreider opened the scoring 53 seconds into the game, his tip in from Kevin Klein and Mats Zuccarello puts the Leafs in a terrible spot early on. Phil Kessel comes to the rescue at 8:23, doing what he does best. A snap shot from James Van Riemsdyk and Dion Phaneuf makes a tied game. Peter Holland decides he wants a piece of the action and Leo Komarov – that’s right Uncle Leo – sets him up beautifully for a shorthanded wrist shot at 15:11. The Leafs end up scoring 3 goals in the first when Richard Panik nets one from Cody Franson and Nazem Kadri. Zuccarello end up finding the back of the net at 19:20 and the Leafs head into the second only up by one. Three lines with goals in the first period – not a bad start for the team that was coming off a shootout loss to Colorado.

The second period was extremely face paced with end to end hockey all throughout. The Leafs managed 9 shots and Talbot managed 9 saves. Bernier let one out of 12 go by him, thus resulting in Carl Hagelin taking advantage of Jake Gardiners turnover, tying the game late in the second.

Rangers take the lead early in the third when Martin St. Louis’s strong forecheck allows Rick Nash to score a goal. It was a quick pass from Nazem Kadri that allowed Roman Polak to tie the game. With just over five minutes remaining in the period Jake Gardiner uses his speed to pick up a clearing attempt by the Rangers. He relays the puck to Leo Komarov whose first goal of the season also happens to be the game winner.

So despite being outshot 35-31 the Leafs manage to earn their two points. Stars of the game, in order,  go to Leo Komarov with one goal and one assist, Nazem Kadri with two assists, and  New York Ranger Chris Kreider.