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Leafs lose to Habs in a game that literally means nothing

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Bring on the playoffs

NHL: Toronto Maple Leafs at Montreal Canadiens Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports

First Period

Charlie Lindgren starts for the Habs. Frederik Andersen does so for the Leafs.

  • [19:15] The Habs get the first good chance of the game, as a streaking Lehkonen gets get a puck in the slot. Andersen makes a good save.
  • [17:12] Marner sets up Tavares in the slot from behind the net, but the shot doesn’t make it through.
  • [16:04] Kapanen’s stick gets broken and he stupidly doesn’t take 5 seconds to go to the bench to get a new one, effectively giving the Habs an extended 5 on 4.5. That’s one of my pet peeves.
  • [14:10] Hyman scores! Off a won faceoff, he comes out from behind the net and fires it in off Shea Weber’s skate. 1-0 Leafs.
  • [13:07] Kapanen drops it for Matthews at the Habs blueline, resulting in a strong power move from Matthews.
  • [12:34] Nylander and Kadri play give-and-go, resulting in a slot tip-in from the Swede. Lindgren makes the save.
  • [12:14] Tatar finds himself alone in the slot, but fires high and wide.
  • [11:57] As the puck goes the other way, a Jake Gardiner point shot gets tipped by Brendan Gallagher and fools Lindgren. 2-0 Leafs.
  • [11:22] The Domi line is getting the better of Matthews’ group so far.
  • [10:54] Andersen makes a ridiculous save on Joel Armia, and as the puck goes the other way, Lindgren makes a similarly absurd save on Marleau.
  • [10:11] Yeah, this is a defence optional game so far.
  • [8:19] The Habs get one back through their fourth line. The puck is put into the mixer from behind the net and finds its way in off Ryan Poehling. It’s his first NHL goal in his first game. 2-1 Leafs.
  • [8:19] The Leafs are challenging for goalie interference, but I have no clue how they can call that back.
  • [8:19] Yeah, good goal.
  • [6:55] The Matthews line has generated some zone time, but not a huge amount in the way of actual chances so far.
  • [0:00] Not much happens in the final portion of the period.

Second Period

  • [19:42] Hyman goes down after getting hit in the head by a shot. Hopefully he’s just a little dazed, but he absolutely should go through concussion protocol.
  • [19:42] They’re keeping Hyman on the bench... which seems kind of silly. I’m not a doctor, but why play with fire.
  • [18:39] Drouin loses Gardiner by ... doing nothing, and gets a good shot from right in front of the net.
  • [17:04] Well, the Habs have a new Leaf killer... Ryan Poehling is halfway to a Matthews, as he pots home the rebound of a point shot that hit the bar. 2-2 game.
  • [16:13] The Matthews line overpasses a potential odd man rush (to be fair to them, the Habs did a good job recovering). I know the numbers for the Johnsson-Matthews-Kapanen line are good, but man, it hasn’t looked like a productive line for some time, it feels.
  • [13:46] Tavares shots off some nifty puck handling and generates a nice chance, but Lindgren saves.
  • [13:01] Shaw loses an edge and runs into Andersen, who is receiving some attention... He seems alright, but like, jeez, that wouldn’t be good.
  • [13:01] Also, Gardiner somehow ended up with a tripping penalty out of that.
  • [12:56] And of course, the Habs score immediately on the power play. 3-2 Habs. Jordan Weal
  • [11:13] Hey, Trevor Moore! Gauthier banks the puck out off the boards from his blueline, chases after it, and feeds Moore who is streaking in alone. Moore makes no mistake, and its 3-3.
  • [10:22] There is no defence in this game, for either team. The Leafs generate a 2-on-1 out of literally nothing. Marner feeds Hyman, but Lindgren makes an excellent save.
  • [9:43] The Habs answer right back! Domi strips the puck off Kapanen in his own zone, the Leafs D is caught watching the puck behind the net, and a nice Habs passing play results in Andrew Shaw passing it into an empty net. 4-3 Habs.
  • [9:03] William Nylander shoots high, then Marleau draws a penalty.
  • [8:40] By the way, on the delayed call, Lindgren does a nice job with a glove save on Matthews.
  • [6:40] Nothing happens on the power play.
  • [4:38] Kapanen has had one of his worst games in a while. Things just not breaking right for him at the moment, and it seems he’s in his own head about his scoring drought.
  • [3:52] A dominant shift from the Tavares line is encouraging, but doesn’t actually lead to a lot in the way of chances.
  • [2:27] Nylander scores! Kadri creates a neutral zone turnover, Willie jumps on it and plays give and go with Naz, and eventually wraps all the way around and scores. 4-4 tie. It looked like he had overplayed his hand, but that’s why he’s making the big bucks, and I’m blogging about it.
  • [0:27] Marleau is stopped on a breakaway.
  • [0:02] Shaw nearly pots his second after a Domi pass finds him alone in front. Great save by Andersen.

Third Period

  • [16:45] Updates will be less frequent this period, because this game means nothing.
  • [16:10] The Leafs have a 3 on 1, but Lehkonen does an excellent job defending it, and they get nothing of it.
  • [15:17] Matthews has had some dangerous chances, and does so again, with a wicked wrister from the faceoff dot thwarted by Lindgren.
  • [14:38] Nylander’s stick explodes as he tries to leave the zone, leading to a Drouin shot and a rebound that Andersen deals with effectively.
  • [11:56] Kappy scores!! That has to feel good, given the slump he’s been in, and it’s number 20 for him too. A brilliant pass from Matthews finds Kapanen all alone in front, with an empty net to aim at. 5-4 Leafs.
  • [11:56] That goal is a great example of how Matthews’ shot also opens up his passing ability. He got the puck at the top of the left circle, and Lindgren has to be aggressive there to respect how Matthews can beat him from distance. That leaves him totally out of position for when Kapanen gets the puck.
  • [7:09] Brown gets a breakaway, but Victor Mete makes a good play to prevent him from getting a shot off.
  • [6:39] I don’t know if I’ve mentioned them enough, but top line has really won their battle against their Habs equivalent.
  • [3:09] The Leafs get away with a tripping penalty... got a break there.
  • [2:31] Welp, there’s the hat trick for Poehling... we know this ends with him getting the OT winner for the full Matthews. 5-5 tie.
  • [2:31] Seriously though, credit to Poehlin... that’s a hell of a shot, and a hell of a night for him and his family.
  • [0:00] Going to OT

Overtime

  • [4:25] Cautious OT from the Habs at this point, who have possession and initiate a change.
  • [2:57] Nylander hasn’t played in the OT yet... the forward combos have been Tavares-Marner, Matthews-Kapanen, and Kadri-Marleau.
  • [2:39] Marleau dashes to the net and in the process, Weal runs over Lindgren.
  • [2:32] Nylander comes out with Hyman, which I’m not sure we’ve seen in 3v3 before. Not that it really matters going forward, at least not for this season.
  • [1:24] Mete gets in alone but is stoned by Andersen
  • [0:42] The Leafs get another handful of shots, but Lindgren keeps the game alive.
  • [0:00] Going to a shootout.

Shootout

  • Round 1: Tatar stopped. Matthews scores.
  • Round 2: Drouin scores. Marner stopped.
  • Round 3: Weal post and out. Tavares missed.
  • Round 4: Poehlin scores (of course). Kapanen stopped.

Bring on the playoffs