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Recap: Toronto Maple Leafs steal one from the Dallas Stars 6-5 (SO)

JVR hat trick, Marleau heroics, Marner shootout winner... this game had it all.

NHL: Dallas Stars at Toronto Maple Leafs
Curtis McElhinney did a commendable job in relief.
John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

I’m back for another Leafs vs Stars game. This might actually be the first NHL game I’ve watched since before the Olympics. We’ll see if I remember everyone’s names.

Andreas Johnsson makes his debut tonight so we’ll also see if I notice that happening at all.

First period

Ooof Roman Polak takes Antoine Roussel to the boards and possibly right against a mic it was so loud.

Tyler Seguin comes out and immediately takes a shot, no dice.

Travis Dermott ices the puck for the first pause in the action.

Tyler Bozak and James van Riemsdyk combine for an opportunity at the side of the net but Kari Lehtonen leaves no room.

Andreas Johnsson gets on the ice for his first shift, starting in the offensive zone. Looks like he won a board battle and got the puck to Polak who took a futile point shot. He hops off not long after the puck ends up in the defensive zone.

Tyler Pitlick springs Jamie Benn and this leads to a give and go between Klingberg and Seguin. Freddie Andersen has to make another nice save.

Lehtonen leaves his brain and his crease, fans massively on the puck and Nazem Kadri says thank you very much for the gift. 1-0 Leafs.

25 seconds later James van Riemsdyk nabs a Tyler Bozak rebound and it’s 2-0 Leafs. Secondary assist to Connor Carrick.

The pace of the game seems to pick up as the Leafs realize there are goals to be had and the Stars realize they’re in trouble.

Johnsson makes his first shot attempt but doesn’t have Justin Holl’s luck.

JVR comes in offside and we have our first TV timeout. Apparently some of the Canadian women’s national team are at the game and they were acknowledged at this point.

Quick shot by Julius Honka, who’s in for Marc Methot. Andersen deflects that away.

Stars try to send the puck into the Leafs zone but it turns into a tape-to-tape pass to Jake Gardiner. Next attempt puts the Stars offside.

Bozak sends a nifty pass to JVR who fires just a tad high and Lehtonen juggles the puck but Auston Matthews isn’t playing tonight so there’s noone there to bat it in from midair.

Nasty shot by William Nylander, who’s said he’s going to shoot more.

Another attempt by Seguin but Freddie’s having a good game so far.

Johnsson is missing from the Leafs bench after a hit by Alexander Radulov. The speculation is he might need a stitch or two on his face.

Benn gets an opportunity, stopped by Freddie.

Alexander Radulov is a determined fucker and so is Devin Shore. Neither manage to get the puck by Freddie and Radulov gets called for goalie interference. Leafs to the power play.

Nope, coincidental minors, Polak’s in the box as well. 4 on 4 for two minutes.

I should not have said two minutes. Jamie Benn gets time and space in front of the net and scores his 25th goal of the year, with a quick deflection. 2-1 Leafs.

Kadri fires one in on Lehtonen with Patrick Marleau in front but Lehtonen hangs on.

Massive slapshot from Greg Pateryn gets redirected off Radek Faksa’s skate and beats Freddie. Tie game, 2-2. Apparently it’s gonna be one of those games.

Puck’s just going up and down the ice now.

Seguin and Jason Spezza fire a couple at Andersen and are denied.

Tomas Plekanec (that’s still weird) gets a shot with five seconds left. Lehtonen gloves it.

Leafs up 11-9 on the shot clock.

Second period

Johnsson is back on the bench for the second so that’s good. No stitches, a bit of a lump on his cheek.

Dallas has control early and things are stop and go as Freddie hangs on to a couple of shots, leading to a few defensive zone faceoffs in short order.

Leafs get it out briefly but it comes back and Andersen has more work to do.

Icing against the Leafs.

One-timer by Spezza but it goes up and out of play. (If you’re sensing a theme here it is definitely low-key danger Will Robinson right now.)

Klingberg attempt.

Kadri brings the puck in and Lehtonen has trouble handling it but keeps it out.

Bozak tries to bring it in but gets it taken away and Freddie has more nonsense to deal with. Pace is slower than it was in the first.

Stars called offside a couple of times.

Commentators draw our attention to an earlier hit by Polak on Benn. Benn appears to be in some pain, specifically his arm, but he’s staying on the Dallas bench.

Kasperi Kapanen takes a hit to get the puck in but the Leafs can’t get anything going.

Radulov gets a chance in close. Andersen knows what he’s doing.

Argh. Tyler Seguin takes a shot, gets his own rebound and beats Freddie on the second chance. 3-2 Dallas.

Dallas are really dominating this period. Leafs wrestle the puck into the offensive zone but Bozak fans on the shot and it comes back out.

From the chatter from other members of the masthead it seems that I’m missing some terrible defensive play but if you’re looking for defensive analysis you’ve got the wrong recapper.

Komarov gets the puck in deep, Marleau steps on the puck because why not.

Regardless of everyone else, Kadri’s having a decent night. If the Leafs get a next goal he’s my bet.

Johnsson on a line with Kapanen and Nylander now. In other words, Nylander’s back down to fourth line centre.

Marner and Plekanec nearly combine for something but Plekanec can’t quite handle the Marner pass.

I’m not sure what happened but Curtis McElhinney came into the net during the TV timeout. My night is complete. (Comment at will, pretend I read them.)

Stars ice the puck, about 8:30 left. Or... something. Faceoff at centre ice.

Nylander has an idea of something he wants to set up but whatever it was doesn’t quite materialize.

Battle going on in the offensive zone. Devin Shore gets the puck to rookie Remi Elie and the one-timer beats McElhinney. 4-2 Stars. Secondary assist to Klingberg.

Radulov and Klingberg combine for a chance but can’t cash in.

Spezza shot through traffic doesn’t hit the mark.

Bozak line on the ice, trying to get something going in the offensive zone. Stars get the puck out again... and it glances off Roussel and out into the crowd.

McElhinney goes for a walk behind the net because I needed to see my life flash before my eyes.

Lehtonen stops play for the first time in a while.

McElhinney has to handle a hot one but keeps it out. Commentators laugh about how there’s no way anyone’s going to be told what’s going on with Andersen.

McElhinney gloves a rolling puck with a Star barrelling down on him.

Leafs end the period in the offensive zone but can’t get anything done before the horn sounds.

Stars well outshooting the Leafs 14-6.

Third period

Official word on Andersen is an upper-body injury, commentators are pointing to the goalie interference by Radulov in the first as the culprit.

Not a lot going on in the early part of the period. Some talk about the Johnson vs Johnsson issue and some discussion of pronunciation.

Shot by Nylander, follow-up by Carrick, kick save by Lehtonen.

Kadri comes in offside.

McElhinney keeps wandering out of his net as if we didn’t all see what happened to Lehtonen in the first.

Nylander battling behind the Dallas net but he loses control. Someone relieves Mattias Janmark of his stick but no harm comes of it.

Van Riemsdyk circles with the puck, gets it to someone else, sneaks out from behind the net to get it back and gets it over Lehtonen’s pad on his third try. Persistence is key, kids. 4-3.

Hard shot by Gardiner, the rebound stays in the Dallas zone and the Leafs have some real pressure going on for the first time in a long time.

Ice behind the Leafs net looks like it might be problematic, a few guys go down one after the other.

Johnsson in a battle with Stephen Johns. Puck goes out to Gardiner who doesn’t quite hit the net.

Nylander gets a great chance on Lehtonen. He doesn’t score but he draws a slash and the Leafs finally get a power play.

JVR makes a play for a hat trick but can’t put it home.

A few chances for the Leafs in the first minute. Benn gets it out shortly but it’s no use... Marner does... something that gets the puck to van Riemsdyk and JVR gets his hat trick. All tied up at four.

Pause for hat collection.

Game resumes and the Leafs keep coming. The Stars are getting the puck into the Toronto zone again but not for very long.

Marleau’s record of game winning goals comes up on the broadcast as an opportunity is missed.

We get a highlight pack of Johnsson, mostly battles. TOI so far about seven minutes.

Klingberg and Roussel combine to give McElhinney some work. Nylander helps out a bit.

Seguin gets a pass to Brett Ritchie and it’s 5-4 Dallas. Connor Carrick was super useful here.

Just over six minutes left.

Kapanen fires a shot into Lehtonen’s chest.

Dermott creates some excitement but is intercepted.

Shot by Nylander, no dice. Someone else will have to check the numbers but I feel like he’s made good on his promise to shoot more tonight.

Hainsey shoots and Lehtonen holds on to calm things down.

Leafs getting a lot of pucks in Lehtonen’s general direction but he’s hanging in there.

McElhinney is pulled with just under two left. Crowd is deafening.

Leafs pressing and pressing. Multiple shots by Marner.

Dallas eventually ice the puck with 53.5 seconds left. No timeouts allowed at this point so it doesn’t help them much.

Dallas can’t change, the Leafs have them pinned down.

15.3 seconds left and Patrick Marleau redirects a Marner shot with JVR in front to tie the game.

Overtime

Benn, Klingberg and Radulov start things off for the Stars and Radulov gets McElhinney to make a great save.

Stars have had the puck most of the first minute but Marner has it now with JVR and Gardiner. He gets a chance but misses wide.

Seguin shot but McElhinney fights it off with the help of the post.

Janmark gets a chance that McElhinney stops but Dallas draws a hooking call on Marner. 4 on 3, 2:50 left.

Seguin and Benn combine but McElhinney keeps it out, and stops the next shot by Seguin as well.

Polak redirects a shot away from the Leafs net.

Hainsey gets it deep in the offensive zone.

McElhinney stops Benn cold.

Spezza shoots McElhinney’s mask off. Okay not quite but he breaks something and McElhinney dumps the mask immediately to stop play and fix it.

Four on four and Leafs are finally putting pressure on Lehtonen again. Crowd sounds like they’re auditioning for a collective part as a crowd in a gladiator movie.

Nobody scores so we go to the coinflip.

Shootout

Tyler Bozak scores.

Tyler Seguin stopped.

JVR hits the post.

Alexander Radulov stopped.

Mitch Marner scores!

Three Stars

3. Curtis McElhinney (13 saves, 0.867 save percentage, but closed the door)

2. Tyler Seguin (1 goal, 2 assists)

1. James van Riemsdyk (3 goals)

Final Andreas Johnsson report: 7:34 minutes of ice time, one shot, one hit, -1. Not terribly impressive but not terrible either.