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It was 4-1 (Happy Ending Version): Ducks (5) vs Leafs (6) - OT

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A crazy game ends with the Leafs grabbing a two points from the heavily favoured Ducks.

John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports
First Period

  • [20:00] We start the game, with Garret Sparks in the Leafs net, and Frederik Andersen in the Ducks
  • [20:00] Bozak is also returning to the Leafs, playing with Brown and Leivo. It's kind of funny for Bozak, since he's playing with an entirely different set of teammates than he started the year with.
  • [17:56] The Ducks unis are trash
  • [17:43] Even game in the early going, with both teams having small amounts of pressure.
  • [17:40] Hyman takes a tripping penalty (very soft call), and the Leafs will face a top-end PP early in the game.
  • [17:04] Aaaan right on cue, the Ducks score. A shot from Corey Perry rebounds off Sparks right onto the stick of Jamie McGinn in the middle of the ice, who makes no mistake. Not great rebound control from Sparks. 1-0 Ducks.
  • [16:14] Bozak shows a bit of rust as he can't bury his trademarked 'into the open net from 4 feet away...
  • [15:55] Aaand, he immediately proves that I'm dumb. Bozak makes a great play to intercept the puck at the point when the Ducks were trying to clear, and wires a wrist shot past Andersen. Nice screen from Leivo. 1-1 game.
  • [13:54] I forgot Nick Ritchie played for the Ducks.
  • [13:44] Parentau draws a tripping penalty, and the Leafs will head to the PP.
  • [13:38] Not gonna comment on the Rob Ford tribute by game ops.
  • [13:05] Kadri scores! A Brown shot that gets through on net, and creates a mini 2v1 for the Leafs, as Michalek and Kadri have only one defender between them. Michalek slides it to Kadri who makes no mistake on the easy chance. 2-1 Leafs.
  • [11:47] Nylander is a passing wizard. He managed to center the puck through about 4 guys to Hyman, but he's unable to create space for a shot.
  • [10:20] The Leafs are VERY fast in their current iteration. Super high intensity and high pressure on the puck. They remind me of Borussia Dortmund circa 2010. Just constant unrelenting pressing, at least thus far in the first.
  • [8:19] I constantly think Greening is Nylander because of their numbers. But speaking of Greening, his line has been good in the early going. I have to admit I was wrong on Greening. He's much better than I gave him credit for when the Phaneuf trade broke.
  • [7:25] I like playing Bozak with Brown and Leivo. They need sheltering, but Bozak has legit offensive talent, and Leivo makes sense as a trigger man for that group. His shot is excellent.
  • [6:00] Nylander has played a decent amount with the Rielly - Marincin pairing thus far in the first. In previous games, he's spent a lot of time with Gardiner and Carrick. Will be interesting to see if he can maintain his excellent possession numbers away from Gardiner.
  • [5:00] Marincin shows excellent speed to contain Cogliano as he raced to a puck in the Leafs zone that could have led to a breakaway. I continue to think he's a fantastic player.
  • [3:33] Nylander's line continues to be dangerous. A nice move by Parenteau at the blueline lets him find Nylander with a lot of space to unleash his shot. It goes high, but he chases his rebound and centres it. The puck eventually finds its way to Gardiner, who fires a low, hard shot on net with a tonne of traffic. Solid save from Andersen, especially not allowing a rebound, as Hyman, Nylander, and Parenteau were all in the neighbourhood.
  • [3:08] For all the talk of the Ducks being a big team, they also seem like a really fast one too.
  • [0:50] The Ducks have gotten a little more pressure in the last few minutes. Seems mostly a result of a few good forechecks.
  • [0:35] Nylander gets trusted to take a DZ faceoff and immediately change (he won the draw). Looks like Babcock feels he's a good faceoff guy.
  • [0:00] First period ends. Shot attempts are 17-16 for TOR, 16-14 TOR at ES.
Second Period

  • [20:00] Zach Hyman's dad sounds sketchy as fuck.
  • [19:41] There's some talk about Leivo and where he fits into the Leafs going forward. It looks like he has a chance to stick as a skilled player who can provide some scoring ability, especially with a shot as nice as his.
  • [18:58] Looks like Kadri is hurt. Looks like he got speared (accidentally) in the groin.
  • [18:20] Also looks like Bieksa is out for the rest of the game.
  • [17:35] Another guy I initially overlooked was Ben Smith, but he's been quite good since joining the Leafs too.
  • [15:46] Hyman finds Nylander in the neutral zone, who turns on the afterburners and leaves the Anaheim defenceman in his dust to get a partial break. He tries to outwait Andersen, but the goalie managed to occupy enough of the net to deter Nylander until he ran out of room.
  • [14:23] The Ducks start to get some pressure and bodies in front of Sparks - again, it arises from the pressure they put on the Leafs D, either forcing a turnover or a suboptimal play.
  • [13:55] Hyman with a nice forecheck to retain possession of the puck as Parenteau draws another penalty. Clear interference against him.
  • [11:42] Pretty disgusting PP from the Leafs - no real time spent in the offensive zone. Rielly made a couple bad passes - IMO, his passing is the weakest part of his offensive game.
  • [11:10] The Leafs get another PP, as Cam Fowler trips Zach Hyman. Another fair call.
  • [11:02] Tyler Bozak with another goal! Rielly makes a great play to break the aggressive point pressure by the Ducks. He finds Kadri, who deftly executes an excellent cross-ice pass to Bozak, in acres of room where the player pressuring Rielly otherwise would be. His wrister finds the net, and he has his second. 3-1 Leafs, and the lead is deserved.
  • [10:07] And the Leafs get another incredible chance! A Marincin point shot leads to a scramble in front, and Bozak has a gift staring at him for his hattrick. Anderson flails and makes the save, and the Ducks ice it in the ensuing chaos.
  • [10:07] This colour commentator LOVES Bozak. He's arguing that because he had a kid, he's going to be more mature? I dunno man.
  • [8:28] While I'm acknowledging all the Leafs I've underestimated, I've been quite impressed with aspects of Hyman's game. His forechecking has really translated to the NHL, and while I think he's getting carried to some extent by his linemates, he's better than I thought he would be.
  • [7:00] I've mentioned how I think the Brown - Bozak - Leivo line is a little frail defensively, but they've basically lived in the offensive zone this game. If they have defensive issues, they haven't shown up thus far.
  • [4:32] Nylander again showing his magnificent skating, gaining the zone easily and finding Carrick for a point shot with some traffic in front.
  • [4:32] It may seem like I'm commenting exclusively on Nylander, but he's been one of the most active and best Leafs tonight. Other forwards doing really well tonight include the entire Bozak line, Greening, Smith, and Kadri on the PP.
  • [3:24] Every time I recap a game, I struggle to find something to say about Valiev.
  • [3:01] Corrado scores! After a big hit to gain possession for the Leafs, a quick turnaround and a bad change by Anaheim leads to a 3 on 2 for the Leafs. Laich oddly just feathers it in on net, ignoring the wide open Corrado, but Andersen inexplicably deflects it into the defenders path, and he roofs it on his backhand. 4-1 Leafs. His first goal of the season.
  • [2:20] Grabner takes a goalie interference penalty. Fair call.
  • [1:12] So far, nothing crazy on the Ducks PP.
  • [1:02] As I type that, McGinn scores again. He finds some room in the shot and buries it in the top corner. 4-2 Leafs.
  • [0:56] And just like that, they score again! A dump in and strong forecheck leads to a shot thrown to the net. Sparks saves it, but Cogliano knocks it in on the doorstep. 4-3 Leafs.
  • [0:00] Second period ends with the Leafs holding on to a tenuous lead. Shot attempts thus far are 37-35 for ANA, 32-30 for TOR at ES.
Third Period

  • [17:35] The commentators keep pronouncing 'Pirri' as 'Perry'.
  • [16:41] Seems like score effects and the Ducks being a good team are taking control now. They seem to be carrying play.
  • [15:57] Parenteau draws ANOTHER penalty. He's been great at that tonight. If nothing else, it's two minutes during which the Leafs are unlikely to be scored on.
  • [14:21] .... welp, nevermind. Gardiner and Nylander skate into each others way in the Leafs zone, and Garbutt steals the puck from Jake, shooting it past a surprised Sparks. 4-4 game.
  • [14:15] No, I'm not making a 4-1 joke.
  • [11:43] And this is just a total collapse now. After a good shift by Nylander's line, a relatively innocuous play ends up in the Leafs net, as Sparks is unable to find the puck, and Connor Carrick blows his coverage on Brandon Pirri. 5-4 Leafs.
  • [10:31] The game is opening up now, for both teams. The Ducks have stepped up their game and forced mistakes, but a lot of this collapse has been self-inflicted by the Leafs.
  • [8:49] The Leafs are really pressing now, trying to ratchet up the pressure. They've had some decent chances, but haven't cracked Andersen yet.
  • [8:10] I can't overstate how much of a collapse this is. After regaining the puck in the defensive zone, Nylander promptly passes it to nobody. It leads to Marincin taking a penalty and the Ducks have a chance to put the game away.
  • [6:30] Grabner almost creates a great chance on the PK, but the bounces didn't go his way.
  • [5:38] What a ridiculous save by Anderson. A great play by Leivo leads to a Parenteau cross-ice pass to Bozak, who again has a chance for his hat-trick. Andersen makes a great lateral movement save.
  • [5:01] The Leafs get another chance on the PP. Hopefully I don't jinx it this time.
  • [4:40] I'd consider pulling the goalie to get a 6 on 4.
  • [4:17] CONNOR BROWN! His first NHL goal ties it, and he shows off a great pair of hands to elevate the puck on his backhand in tight. 5-5 game. What a game this is. In other news, I continue to be aggressively wrong in my predictions.
  • [3:10] It seem as though the Nylander line has really struggled this period. I mean, all of the Leafs have, but them more than most.
  • [2:43] Kadri takes a boarding penalty and the Leafs have to face another Ducks PP if they want to have a chance to win this game.
  • [2:17] Grabner's failed clearance almost comes back to bite the Leafs in the butt. Sparks rescues him by standing tall in net and making a save on a point shot with a heavy screen in front.
  • [1:22] The Ducks have great movement and pressure on this PP, but Sparks and the Leafs defense are hanging on, just barely.
  • [1:01] Perry gets an uncontested slapper from the top of the circle - Sparks refutes him.
  • [0:05] Another ridiculous save from Sparks, as Richard Rakell makes a great move to create space for a wrister. Sparks' glove hand denies him.
Overtime

  • [4:52] The Leafs somehow immediately get a 2 on 1... shot by Rielly is missed.
  • [4:19] I missed a few chances, but Kadri scores to win it for the Leafs! Kadri chips it out in front from behind the net, and as the Ducks struggle to find it, he tucks it past a sprawling Andersen.
This was just a bonkers game. I can't do it justice by wrapping it up, but wow. The Leafs got outplayed hard in the latter third of the game, but you have to admire the resilience to come back against a Cup contender the way they did. And of course, we experienced the first of many Connor Brown goals for the Leafs. Bad day for the tank, but definitely a fun game to watch for me.