Tonight’s game looked odd to start. The Anaheim Ducks were wearing their 25th anniversary black jerseys, and the Maple Leafs were wearing their whites. A colour swap for the home game, but it’s okay to see the Ducks wear their proper logo.
Right off the bat the Maple Leafs attack the Ducks zone, forcing a turnover that give the Leafs chances at the net and a pile up happens that causes a whistle. The Leafs came out hard this game, which was a wonderful sight to see.
The Leafs keep coming hard at the Ducks net, and Frederik Gauthier almost gets to bank a shot off John Gibson’s behind into the net, but it wasn’t to be.
It’s almost as if the Maple Leafs have a reason to want to show up the Ducks...I just can’t place my finger on it.
Morgan Rielly on whether he feels for ex-coach Randy Carlyle's Ducks in their recent struggles: "I’m not sure what’s going on in terms of wins and losses over there, but I’ve been there too. There’s not a lot of sympathy going on here because I’ve been at the bottom too."— Kristen Shilton (@kristen_shilton) February 4, 2019
The physicality of the game is just as intense as the Leafs play early in the third period. First Corey Perry goes down awkwardly;
Perry collides awkwardly on the boards. A little shaken up. pic.twitter.com/tBFEuNPv0o— Flintor (@TheFlintor) February 5, 2019
Then Andreas Johnsson both receives and gives:
Halfway through the period the Maple Leafs, like almost all of the Ducks opponents, have a strong hold on the puck and the direction of the game. There are occasional appearances in the Leafs zone, but there’s nothing of quality happening there and it’s all easy saves for Frederik Andersen.
When the Maple Leafs get into the Ducks end, it’s a lot of chances like this:
The Maple Leafs would get several more chances during the period, but ultimately would be kept off the scoreboard.
With two minutes remaining, Zach Hyman gets a hooking penalty, giving the Ducks a much needed man advantage. Of course, these are the Anaheim Ducks, so most of the power play is spent fetching the puck out of their own zone after the Maple Leafs easily knock it out of theirs.
The second period opens the same as the first, with quick attacks on the Ducks net, but John Gibson stand son his head as he has all season.
Nazem Kadri is a man on a mission to score tonight. After all of his chances in the first period, he comes close to putting the puck over Gibson’s glove, but Gibson is a brick wall that Kadri and the Leafs can’t crack.
Down in the Leafs end of the zone, Freddie Gauthier starts off a rush with a pass back to Andreas Johnsson, who passes up to John Tavares at centre ice to score the first goal of the game.
Quickly after the goal, Auston Matthews doesn’t want anyone to forget about him:
Kadri keeps the pressure up, and nearly scores as the puck goes off the crossbar and out, just millimeters from a goal. Freddie Andersen is also having a great night, despite not having as much work to do as usual.
Halfway through the second period the game is mostly in the Leafs hands, but John Gibson continues his Vezina caliber season, keeping the Ducks from being a bottom feeding team. The Maple Leafs lead in shots 13-6.
Yes. Six shots for the Ducks after 30 minutes of play.
There have been some pretty good ones, like this save on Nick Ritchie:
The Maple Leafs get a power play opportunity after Hampus Lindholm gets called for hooking William Nylander. The Maple Leafs power play unit comes on strong against the Ducks, with lots of movement in the Ducks zone, keeping the defenders on their toes. Once again Nazem Kadri comes inches from scoring, but John Gibson is a selfish man who won’t let him score.
As the second minute of the power play starts, John Tavares parks himself at the Ducks post, tries to score, but as the puck spins on the goal line, Gibson makes the cover to keep it from going in.
The power play dominates the ice, but doesn’t score. HOWEVER! After the penalty ends, Andreas Johnsson gets the puck up in the slot after the Ducks try to clear, and pots it past a distracted Gibson.
The Ducks get a great scoring chance as Andersen comes a bit far out of his net, but they still can’t get it past Freddie. As the period comes to a close, Mitch Marner tries some fancy stick handling in the Ducks zone that sees the puck get poked away. The Ducks come in hard on Andersen but he stonewalls them again and the rough stuff comes out again between Jake Muzzin and some Ducks.
Nick Ritchie retaliates and takes a bad cross checking penalty to give the Leafs a power play with six seconds left in the period.
Six seconds is all they need, as Jake Muzzin scores from the point to give the Leafs a three goal lead at the end of the second period.
The third period starts with more time in the Maple Leafs zone than we may have seen all game. The Leafs aren’t as urgent in their play as they were earlier, and it gives Rickard Rakell the chance to come to the Leafs net to score the Ducks first of the night.
Almost right after this, the Brown-Kadri-Nylander line is back out and finally connects with the back of the net after Nylander speeds down the ice and gets the puck to Brown and he puts it past Gibson
Auston Matthews whiffs on a possible fifth goal after this, and the Leafs have picked up the pace once again. Clearly they feel guilty about that Rakell goal. Zach Hyman gets the puck out of the Leafs zone to Nylander, and he takes it down the ice to score his second goal of the season, against a weary John Gibson.
At the halfway point of the period, the Ducks are getting frustrated and sloppy, and Nick Ritchie takes another bad penalty, giving the Maple Leafs their second power play of the game. Ahead of the penalty the Ducks make a goalie change, swapping John Gibson for Chad Johnson.
This power play isn’t as dominant at first, spending some time chasing the puck out of their zone, but as it goes on the Leafs get more offensive time. They don’t score on this power play either, and the Ducks are lucky it’s still 5-1.
The Ducks are a little energized by the goalie change and we spend a few minutes in the Maple Leafs zone, but the Leafs free the puck and take it down to the Ducks end. Zach Hyman has it at the boards on Johnson’s glove side and he’s hit but gets it over to Johnsson who scores his second of the game from the slot.
The game is winding down with 25 seconds left when Derek Grant takes a clearing attempt to the face, and leaves the game.
The horn blows and the Maple Leafs defeat the Anaheim Ducks 6-1. Andreas Johnsson is our star as he scores twice and adds two assists.
Freddie Andersen keeps on making his mark on the Leafs as well.
Frederik Andersen has recorded his 94th win as a Maple Leaf tonight, passing Ed Belfour for sole possession of ninth place on the franchise’s wins by a goaltender list. #LeafsForever— Leafs PR (@LeafsPR) February 5, 2019
The Maple Leafs next play Wednesday night against the Ottawa Senators. I bet they can score six again. Sing it with my people!
“What I want....”