RECAP: Leafs rebound from embarrassing loss to win three in a row


Game one

Just prior to the game, the Toronto Maple Leafs announced they had acquired forward Alex Galchenyuk from the Carolina Hurricanes in exchange for Egor Korshkov and David Warsofsky. Galchenyuk had just been traded to the Hurricanes three days earlier.

Joe Thornton returned to the lineup, having not played since he fractured a rib in mid-January.

Auston Matthews scored twice, giving him 12 goals total on the season, and Thornton picked up a goal and an assist. Though the Senators picked up a late goal, by the end of the second period, the Leafs still had a 5–2 lead, with Pierre Engvall and Travis Boyd contributing a goal each.

Then, the Senators scored three in a row in the third, pushing the game to overtime, where Evgenii Dadonov scored the game-winner. 

Overall, this loss was an embarrassing one. If there is any doubt about that, take a look at the goal that tied the game for the Senators.

However, I think this may benefit the team in the long run. Over the last week or so, they have been outplayed in almost every game, yet have still somehow been winning games. That did not work in this game, though.

Game two

The second game against the Senator started incredibly slow. Halfway through the first period, the Leafs had a total of three shots on net. Late in the first, Thornton scored, but the goal was disallowed.

And then, early in the second period, Thornton scored. And it was waved off again.

Matthews scored to give the Leafs the lead and then followed that up with an own goal. The second period ended 1–1.

Alexander Kerfoot scored midway through the third period, and Frederik Andersen shut the door the rest of the way.

The Leafs took this one, 2–1.

Game three

Andersen sat this one out, meaning Michael Hutchinson started in net. Zach Hyman also missed the contest being day-to-day.

Matthews opened the scoring for the Leafs 10 minutes into the first.

Matthews had another two-goal game, while Thornton, William Nylander, John Tavares and Ilya Mikheyev each picked up one. The top line, composed of Matthews, Thornton and Mitch Marner, combined for 11 points.

Hutchinson stopped 34 shots and continuously got better as the game went on. This was a much-needed break for Andersen, as he has started every game since Jack Campbell was injured.

The Leafs won 7–3.

Game four

This is the fourth time the Maple Leafs have played the Montreal Canadiens so far in the shortened season.

Matthews extended his point streak to 16 games with another two goals, both coming on the power play. Travis Boyd, a new addition to the top power play unit, also scored.

Boyd has been a great acquisition for the team and has played himself into a larger role. Marner and Kerfoot also scored to propel the Leafs to a 5–3 win.

Matthews now has 18 goals on the season.

“Auston is setting new standards, it seems like, every day,” Toronto Head Coach Sheldon Keefe said in the postgame press conference. “But, I think it’s also important to recognize the play of Mitch Marner here, and how he’s really teamed up with Auston. They’re pushing each other to new heights, and it’s been fun to watch.”

The Maple Leafs now lead the NHL and open next week with two home games against the Calgary Flames before traveling to Edmonton to play the Oilers.

Center Ice Forums RECAP: Leafs rebound from embarrassing loss to win three in a row

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