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Recap: Maple Leafs 3, Predators 1

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Not the best third period ever, but we’ll take it.

NHL: Toronto Maple Leafs at Nashville Predators Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Freddie! Neverleaveagain

We heard today that the “bug” Marner’s been nursing is strep throat. That’s... ungood.

Oh look PA Parenteau’s back in the Preds lineup. So, automatic goal yes?

1st

Those Perds uniforms are so... bright.

Auston Matthews’ shot is still flabbergasting.

Jeeez what the hell was that. Sharp thinking by Freddie.

Oof there’s a hit by Naz.

And Zack Hyman gets run. I was not expecting a deeply physical game tonight, guess I was wrong.

Starting to wonder if part of the reason the Leafs are dump-and-chasing into the Nashville zone is that Pekka Rinne goes out to get the puck every. time.

Worrying moment at 11:08 but Freddie / luck keeps the puck out.

Shots 3-2 Leafs about 9:30 into the period.

Delayed penalty... here we go. Connor Carrick to the box.

Thought Rinne was going to smash himself into the boards there but he didn’t get that far.

Preds are having dangerous seconds here and there. I know that’s all it takes, but sustained pressure is not a thing I’m seeing.

Marner how did you manage to do that with your stick?

Matt Martin mashes a guy to keep him off the puck, gloves are dropped and now Martin’s worried about his eye it looks like.

Predator called for roughing, Leafs on the PP.

wooot! JVR gets a tip on net and we’re up 1-0. First power play goal in a few games for the Leafs. Marner breaks the Leafs’ rookie assist record with his 41st.

Another couple of dangerous seconds but Leafs get out of the period with the lead.

2nd

Early ping by Filip Forsberg as Nashville seems to turn on another gear this period.

Another gear from Morgan Rielly to match, he’s got some zoom

Andersen has equipment. Meanwhile, the arena gets Rickrolled.

Man, Bozak had all the time in the world there.

Delayed penalty. Very delayed. Leafs look ready to score, with the Bozak line +1 on against the Predators’ fourth line.

Finally the PP.

Scramble in front of the net but Rinne gets it eventually.

Tyler Bozak called for interference at the Nashville blueline so 35s of 4 on 4.

Rinne loses his stick but the 4 on 4 is about to become a PK so there’s noone around to take advantage.

Back at 5 on 5... Marner and PK Subban make a good ice dance pair.

Man am I glad Freddie’s back. A stop on the one-timer and manages to protect the puck from a lot of hacking and slashing to keep the lead.

More equipment issues for Freddie - apparently being hacked at is bad for the pads.

Bozak in the box again for...reasons.

Has anyone explained to Nashville that they have a power play? They figured it out with less than 20 seconds to go but that was not the most coordinated group I’ve ever seen on the ice.

Leo gets called for hooking, kindly allowing the Perds to practice again only seconds after the Bozak penalty expired.

This one looks a lot more dangerous. And now we’ve lost Polak to a Subban shot.

Okay more organized but still not able to get shots off. Leafs survive.

Leafs look generally better than the Predators but it’s not helping them score much.

Another Leafs power play as Mike Fisher goes off. Started off well but Nashville cleared it and now they’re having a lot of trouble getting back in.

Nylander takes a beauty of a shot and is denied

While I was typing that, Matthews fires in a beauty and we’re up 2-0. The replay shows me Brown with a nice move to feed him too.

Freddie needed a nice save to keep the lead going with 30s left.

Kadri had an exciting moment but couldn’t put it in.

3rd

Nylander with an early attack turned away.

Leafs do not look satisfied with a 2-0 lead. Not panicky, but not done yet. Nylander point streak on the line.

Subban’s shot rolls behind Freddie but just wide. The scariest of a series of three chances. 15:00 left and it’s starting to get nerve-wracking.

A few bounces lead to speculation about the ice. It’s not so blatant I would notice, but the commentators seem to think some missed plays are not all on the Leafs.

Rinne really does love playing that puck.

James Neal is down on the ice as a result of friendly fire. Puck to the side of the face, possibly the ear. Heads down the tunnel.

Ughhhh that does not look great on the Leafs as Forsberg gets his 30th goal of the year. The Leafs don’t have a shot on net so far this period.

Jeez the Leafs are going to owe Andersen a whole cow, nevermind a steak.

And we’re back to the PK - Polak for holding. Dunno that it’s the best call (neither does Polak) but the timing is definitely terrible.

Okay the Preds power play just iced the puck. What do they think is going on here? Oh, I spoke too soon. All the practice the Leafs are letting them have in this game is paying off.

Andersen somehow manages to keep the puck off the line and not in. If they win this, somebody buy him a whole ranch.

Shots are 11-1 Nashville with less than 7 minutes to go.

Leafs pulling it back together but if Nylander could extend his point streak I’d be happier.

Brown is a useful player. He helpfully attempts to score. Rinne stops him, but I applaud him for having the right idea.

More Predators pressure. 3:21 left. Augh.

Much better from the Leafs now, nice chance from Bozak.

Rinne to the bench with over 90s to go.

Marner almost-but-not quite ices the puck.

Kadri gets the puck into the Predators’ zone, seems to be fighting both the Perds and the puck, Brown gets it off him and makes the empty netter. 3-1 That’s his 19th.

Empty net for the Preds again leading to an anxious several seconds and maybe a ping (my hearing is unreliable) but the Leafs pull off the W in yet another game where they really needed it.

Sadly, Nylander’s point streak ends at 12 games, but sacrifices must be made!