The San Jose Sharks came to town, with former Maple Leaf Patrick Marleau celebrating his 1,500th game as a Shark in the rink he called home for the past two seasons.
The game starts with the Sharks winning the face off, but then they take a penalty when Logan Couture is called for slashing Jake Muzzin, and that gives the Leafs an early power play.
Both Auston Matthews and William Nylander both whiff on good chances to open the scoring before the Sharks dump the puck down to the Leafs end where it spends too much time. The second power play doesn’t get as many chances and the PP ends without a goal.
Alex Kerfoot gets a great chance as he follows a bouncing puck down the ice, staying just ahead of the Sharks defenders, but he can’t fully get control of the puck and the shot goes wide.
The Sharks take the game to the Leafs after this, spending time in the offensive zone and tossing shots on net to Andersen. Cody Ceci throws a hit on Lukas Radil, Justin Holl goes after Patrick Marleau, and Kevin Gravel even tries to defend the crease.
The game goes back to the neutral zone, then the Sharks zone, and Auston Matthews has a shot saved by Martin Jones, who will be the epitome of a starting goalie tonight before going back to being Martin Jones.
The Leafs have already have a handful of golden opportunities in the first 10 minutes of the game. Puck just can't find the back of the net. pic.twitter.com/siQHvamtYM— Flintor (@TheFlintor) October 25, 2019
The Sharks get back on the offensive and there’s some tic-tac-toe passing after a Matthews giveaway until Kevin Labanc scores his fourth of the season to give the Sharks a 1-0 lead.
Quickly after the post-goal face off, Cody Ceci takes a holding penalty against Brent Burns - which was originally announced by the broadcast as a Leafs power play, and good job guys. Anyway, the Leafs quickly clear the puck over the blue line, but it’s not very far so the Sharks comes right back into the Leafs zone. This time they properly clear the puck, to kill a few seconds of PK time.
The Leafs PK does a good job of keeping the Sharks from crossing the blue line for a big chunk of the penalty kill, and Ceci leaves the box. No goals, just one shot for the Sharks.
Ilya Mikheyev tries to go through the Sharks defenders himself, but they keep him from getting a shot off. He passes abck to Mitch Marner, who can’t get anything through traffic. We go down the Ice to the Leafs zone, but Morgan Rielly breaks up the play to keep the Shrks shotless.
Down the ice, a few minutes later Jason Spezza comes close to breaking the shutout, but Jones makes the save. The play stays in the Sharks zone, until the puck gets caught up in the net (on the outside) and play stops.
The play goes back and forth, without anything too noteworthy happening after that, until 30 seconds left in the first, when [players] gets a close shot off that makes Anderson do a rolling save to keep the score at 1-0.
While we have intermission, here is the tribute that Marleau got in the SBA:
Thank you Patrick, for everything you did for our Leafs Nation family, and making us a part of yours. pic.twitter.com/c8R7j42g2d— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) October 25, 2019
The second period begins the same as the first with the Leafs getting a couple quick shots on net, then play going down to the Leafs end and Frederik Andersen making a save. Tyson Barrie gets knocked in the nose by someone and gets off the ice with a bit of a nosebleed. Down the ice Auston Matthews whiffs on a close shot once again, as he and Marner try and tie the game.
Evander Kane will go and try to dance around the Leafs defence, but he loses the puck and Andersen snatches it up with ease. Midway through the second we have just five shots total for the two teams. (3-2 TOR).
The Leafs come in hard on the Sharks net and William Nylander does a nice cut curl and drag to almost score, then Matthews gets checked into the boards, drawing a penalty on Mario Ferraro.
On the powerplay, Morgan Rilley gets a good chance before being taken down at the net, but the powerplay doesn’t score. Brendan Dillon gives Matthews a hard hit, which has the centre wincing, and then Barclay Goodrow is called for hooking, sending the Leafs right back to the powerplay.
Dillon clips Matthews up high. Matthews was slow to get up. pic.twitter.com/6nBn3sYDkW— Flintor (@TheFlintor) October 26, 2019
Matthews goes to the quiet room to be evaluated.
"It's fucking in the head. Oh yeah." pic.twitter.com/nUPvWrK4TE— Flintor (@TheFlintor) October 26, 2019
The Leafs powerplay tries to avenge Matthews, but they can’t get a clear shot at the net. Goodrow comes out of the box into the middle of the PP setting things up, and the Leafs get no goal with the man advantage.
The rest of the second period is marked with an almost Cody Ceci goal, few shots by the Sharks, then, finally, with less than two seconds left, a goal by Jake Muzzin:
The start of another period, and the Sharks get another penalty off the bat - Timo Meier gets called for closing his hand on the puck. Just like the other periods, the Leafs do not score on the powerplay.
Ilya Mikheyev gets another breakaway, but is again denied by Jones. Timashov tries to come back for another but can’t score either. Melker Karlsson once again gets a delay of game for baseballing the puck over the netting.
This powerplay isn’t as strong as some of the others, the Sharks are able to dump the puck a lot easier than the previous one, and no goal once again.
Mitch Marner tries to one timer a goal but it goes high, giving the crowd the biggest ”awwwww!” of the game so far.
The game goes on, with Muzzin playing the hardest, Mikheyev trying to score again, and Auston Matthews finally connecting on a shot! It went into the centre of the logo on Jones’ jersey, but it’s a start.
There’s a bunch of flailing about as Jones comes too far out of the net, and Marner just misses the puck on a wide open net. The Sharks get the puck away just in time to prevent a disaster (in their eyes).
The tie is broken by the Maple Leafs with five minutes to go in the third period. Morgan Rielly gets a sweet pass from William Nylander to five the Leafs the lead.
The Maple Leafs play the defence, and the Sharks pull their goalie. The Leafs take a full minute to finally score an empty net goal - lots of close calls - when Ilya Mikheyev scores to put the Leafs up 3-1.
Shortly there after the Leafs go up 4-1, when Auston Matthews squeaks a puck under Martin Jones’ leg pad.
The Leafs pulled out the win, 29-16, and head into Montreal tomorrow night to take on the Canadiens for game two of a back to back - everyone’s favourite scenario.
See you all in the morning with the FTB!