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Leafs 3 - Hurricanes 2 (OT): Lucky, but I’m not complaining

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Terrible game, awesome result

NHL: Toronto Maple Leafs at Carolina Hurricanes James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

First Period

  • [20:00] Welcome to another Saturday night Leafs game, where tonight, the Leafs will face the discarded remnants of Cam Ward. Last time they were here, Auston Matthews scored the best goal of his career, and the Leafs won comfortably. Hopefully, tonight has more of the same.
  • [20:00] Marincin draws in for Marchenko, and will be playing on his off-side. All other lines are as they were against Philadelphia.
  • [19:53] Somehow, the Leafs ice the puck immediately.
  • [19:45] Who had 15 seconds as the first mention of a team’s faceoff prowess by the broadcast crew?
  • [19:11] Some poor Hurricane gets absolutely levelled by Roman Polak.
  • [17:08] Carolina has a solid start, with a notable territorial advantage. No really dangerous chances from either team though.
  • [16:12] Craig Simpson says that the Hurricanes’ young defencemen are their weakness. They’re 7th best in the league in shot suppression.
  • [14:38] The Leafs haven’t been able to enter the Carolina zone with possession at all thus far.
  • [13:50] Meanwhile, Andersen is getting peppered with shots, though none of them are that great.
  • [13:34] The Leafs get a shot on net, which Hughson comments is a ‘tough one’ for Ward. At this point in his career, they’re all tough for him.
  • [11:47] Jordan Staal gets behind Marincin and nearly gets a partial break, but Gardiner helps his partner out.
  • [11:01] Canes score! Victor Rask takes a quick shot from a sharp angle below the circle which beats Andersen short side. The commentators are talking a lot about how this was well-deserved for Carolina, but they’ve really just taken a bunch of low EV shots. One of them went in. More on Andersen than anyone. 1-0 Hurricanes.
  • [10:08] The Leafs answer right back, and it’s Bozak’s line that does it. Some continued pressure by the three forwards pays off, as Bozak passes to Marner at the faceoff dot, who whips one by Ward. Great shot, tie game. 1-1.
  • [8:33] The Leafs have woken up a bit now. Komarov finds Brown alone in front on a rush chance. Ward makes a nice save to keep it tied.
  • [6:06] The Leafs have come into the game now. Far more even.
  • [4:24] The Bozak line looks very dangerous early. Creating a lot of turnovers when Carolina tries to exit their zone.
  • [3:10] Matthews’ line follows their lead, but can’t convert. Now it’s Carolina having trouble stringing two passes together.
  • [0:59] Zaitsev takes a totally unnecessary penalty, cross-checking Lindholm as retaliation for some physical play earlier in the shift. ‘Canes to the PP.
  • [0:00] Not much of note happens on the PP, and the Leafs get to the intermission tied at 1.

Second Period

  • [20:00] Carolina starts the period with a man advantage.
  • [19:15] And they make it count! A point shot from Teuvo Teravainen deflects of Morgan Rielly in front and beats Andersen. 2-1 Carolina.

Looks like they’re giving the goal to Staal, but I think it went in off Rielly.

  • [17:29] Polak took a shot off the hand on the play that lead to the goal, soe he might be a little worse for wear.
  • [16:01] Good pressure from Matthews’ group nearly claws the game back for the Leafs, but nothing doing.
  • [15:37] Kadri bumps Ward behind the net, essentially running interference, which the refs call appropriately. Leafs to the power play for the first time tonight.
  • [14:19] A few good chances for the Leafs, but they can’t capitalize.
  • [13:45] Power play ends, Leafs still down.
  • [12:41] The Leafs fourth line does what they always do. Grind along the boards, but struggle to get any real shots on net.
  • [12:23] The Bozak line ties it again, this time off a broken play. A neutral zone faceoff leads to the puck being poked into the slot, where JVR pounces and fires it top shelf. 2-2 game. Marner and Bozak get very generous assists on the play.
  • [9:55] This has been a very sloppy game.
  • [8:30] How did people watch hockey before HD TVs? Seems like it’d be hard.
  • [6:40] Seriously, nothing is happening because neither team can actually get into the other team’s zone and make a play.
  • [4:53] I would pay a lot of money to never hear about faceoffs on broadcasts again. Or at least, not in the rudimentary way they do. If they do Dellow-style analysis of it, that’s another thing. But otherwise, it’s reading into 10 coin flips.
  • [2:30] The Matthews line was good in the first, but has been totally anonymous in the second.
  • [1:30] Pretty sure Hughson just called Andersen a Swede. He’s from Denmark.
  • [0:00] Period ends, and we’re tied, just as we were in the first. Big two points up for grabs in the final period.

Third Period

  • [20:00] Lets hope this period is a little more exciting than the last.
  • [19:18] Marincin takes a holding penalty on Jeff Skinner, and the Leafs will need to kill off another penalty.
  • [18:06] The book on EVERY goaltender is to go high glove side. Jeez, I thought we settled this with Reimer.
  • [17:45] Anyways, Carolina has some really nice chances on the power play, but a combination of Andersen and the penalty kill holds them off.
  • [14:59] The Hurricanes are the early 2000s Devils with way worse goaltending.
  • [13:52] Aside from the last half of the first period, the Leafs have gotten killed today. Have really struggled at generating shots against a very mobile defence group from Carolina that can keep up with the Leafs.
  • [12:06] I’m generally a fan of Zach Hyman, but his inclusion on a line means there are only two players on it (at most) who can actually exit the zone in any capacity.
  • [10:40] Carolina is really dominating us here, to be honest. Not a good showing at all.
  • [9:33] Babcock has switched up the lines, restoring Brown to Matthews’ wing. Nylander moves to Kadri’s right side.
  • [8:33] Kadri draws his second penalty of the game as an errant stick catches him in the face. The Leafs go to the power play, and have a big chance to take a lead, especially since they really haven’t gotten a lot going at even strength.
  • [7:58] In a stunning role reversal, Bozak finds Marner with a gaping net and the rookie can’t seal the deal. Opportunity missed there for the Leafs.
  • [5:58] Carolina is so fast and aggressive in their own zone. The Leafs players can’t use their agility to buy time and space like normal.
  • [2:54] Yeah, at this point, lets just get the point and try our luck in OT.
  • [0:10] Polak with a ridiculously stupid decision to try a stretch pass from his own zone with 10 seconds left. Roman, you’re not Erik Karlsson. Stay in your lane.
  • [0:00] Mission accomplished.

Overtime

  • [5:00] Alright, OT time. Starting with Bozak/Marner/Rielly, which I like. The Bozak line was the Leafs’ best tonight.
  • [4:36] Early pressure for the Canes, as quick changes are underway. JVR/Kadri/Zaitsev now the Leafs group.
  • [3:45] It’s been one-way traffic in this OT period, much like the game as a whole.
  • [2:47] Oh my god, Morgan Rielly! Nylander gets the easiest assist of his career, as he passes it to Rielly, who does a lap and creates some space, before firing it five-hole on Ward. Lucky win for the Leafs, but the two points are useful.
  • It must be said... that was a HORRIFIC goal for Ward to give up. As impressive as the skating by Rielly was, the shot was a total muffin.