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Game Recap: Maple Leafs 6, Panthers 1

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Four points for Connor Brown, highlight reel goal by Marner.

NHL: Florida Panthers at Toronto Maple Leafs
First star of the night Connor Brown
John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

Oh this one hurt. Oh James, I'm so sorry.

Full disclosure, the only Leafs jersey I have is a Reimer jersey I requested for Xmas the season after he dragged the team into the playoffs. Also, two dollars go to my #hockeyfightsdv pledge every time Reimer gets a shutout, so my loyalties were a tad divided tonight.

1st period 3-1 Leafs

The game got off to a fast start with both teams going up and down the ice with few chances on either side. Leafs lore would suggest Reimer's due for a shutout tonight and on the first few shots it looks not entirely unlikely.

Auston Matthews missed high on a wide open net either because he's cursed or Reimer used the Force, dealer's choice.

This game was a lot more physical than I expected, bunch of guys getting pasted into the glass.

GOAL...high stick? goal? by Brown

After much discussion a no goal call on the ice, a bit of an explosion from Babcock and then overturned by war room, the good guys up 1-0, Connor Brown's second of the season.

Penalty for Marner for holding resulted in the first Panthers SOG of the night nearly 8 minutes into the period. No goals though, so we're fine.

GOAL (okay not so fine) Ekblad ties it up

Malgin off for hooking. Not the worst Leafs power play of the season by a long shot but neither was it their best.

GOAL Brown again after dodging a check against the boards, tried to pass to Kadri in front of the net, hit Reims' foot and in goes the puck. Nice work and a little luck.

GOAL Marner on a breakaway. I was so impressed at him keeping his balance here. Soft knees, good edges, solid core, quick hands. Brown could get a hat trick tonight and all anyone is going to be talking about tomorrow is this ridiculousness.

2nd period 5 -1 Leafs

The period started with extended time in the Leafs' zone. Rielly especially was stuck out there for a hideous amount of time. Zaitsev lost his stick to Griffith and hurt his hand on a shot on the same play.

"If they get out of this it'll be a miracle" says the commentating team - they get out of it.

Kadri took a puck to the ear. From here on in, it becomes sort of a theme.

GOAL Komarov on a play that makes no Panther look good, including Reimer. Point number three for Brown.

Ekblad to the box for four minutes - interference and unsportsmanlike conduct. Again not the greatest power play in history. There was one scramble in front of Reimer where it looked like something was inevitable but no dice.

Sceviour managed a breakaway and in the ensuing attempt to slow him down, Kadri was called for interference on MacKenzie, so a short 4 on 4. On the penalty kill Polak, Hunwick and Rielly all made timely blocks but all clearly suffered for it too.

GOAL JVR took advantage of a complete failure by McIlrath and Reimer just was not ready for this.

Ekblad took another interference penalty with less than a minute to go. Not a great night for him.

With just over half a minute left Carrick got into the fun and blocked a shot with his back. Going to be a seriously sore D corps tomorrow. Corrado was probably cheering in the press box.

3rd period 6-1 Leafs

To be quite frank I zoned out for most of the third. Leafs started with a minute and some left on the power play and did nothing much with it.

Hunwick and Martin both had opportunities with the puck in this period. These are not the guys who need to be given shots on goal.

Polak took a tripping penalty, not particularly helpful for the Panthers.

Gardiner took an interference penalty and nothing exciting happened until...

GOAL Gardiner exited the box just in time to receive a nice pass from Brown and Reimer should have had this.

Brown got a couple of chances at the hat trick, notably in his final shift of the game, but failed to solve Reimer one last time.

For anyone keeping track (and to be clear, I am judging you, quit it) Auston Matthews' goalless streak continues, but not for want of trying.

Three Stars

  1. Connor Brown (2G, 2A)
  2. Frederik Andersen (26 saves)
  3. James van Riemsdyk (1G, 1A)

Final Thoughts