The Toronto Maple Leafs played the second half of a back to back against Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins (though if you were watching the HNIC broadcast, it was Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Sidney Crosbys). After a close first ended 1-1, the Penguins took nearly complete ownership of the puck in the second, outshooting the Leafs 16-4 in the period. James Reimer didn't care. Some absolutely stellar goaltending kept the Leafs in the game, and by the end of it, Bolland, Kadri, and Kessel would all have tallies against Fleury. Your game in six:
Shortly before the game, Tyler Bozak was confirmed as having a lower body injury (7-10 days, though it could be longer). As a result, we got to see some JVR-Kadri-Kessel - and man was it pretty. Skilled passes between JVR, Kessel, and Kadri, combined with their offensive speed. Man, it's something. Can't wait to see them play together again Tuesday against the Oilers.
Dave Bolland looked great. He, Raymond, and Clarkson matched up against Crosby, who was kept off the scoreboard, and wasn't nearly the huge difference maker he can be in a game. Clarkson led Leafs F's in ES TOI, laid some big hits, and seems to be off to a good start - I imagine it's only a matter of time before he finds the back of the net.
A special shout-out for perennial whipping boy Colton Orr, who had what I thought was a good game. He, Ashton, and McClement were playing as the Leafs third line, and matched up very well against Sutter, Kobasew, and Glass.
As for the D, Gunnarsson-Phaneuf continued to shut down the opposition's top offensive threats. Ranger, I thought, struggled again - mishandling the puck several times in each zone - but Rielly seemed to find a good stride, and made some good passes on the second power play unit. I'm incredibly excited for Rielly's first goal as a Leaf.
But again, this game was all about James Reimer, your well-deserved first star for tonight. Going 37 for 38, staying strong on the post to save several grade A scoring chances, and keeping the Leafs in it. If you want a visual representation of Reimer's work, check out ExtraSkater's Fenwick chart for this game from the 2nd period on. Incredible.