The Toronto Maple Leafs welcomed the Vegas Golden Knights to Toronto after winning three straight games against the Flyers, Bruins, and Hurricanes and attempted to win four straight for the first time this season.
It was a challenge for third string goaltender Erik Källgren, facing off against a strong Golden Knights team, and he was challenged early after Rasmus Sandin let Nicolas Roy get past him to score forty-five seconds into the game.
Leafs down 1-0— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) November 9, 2022
Sandin can't hold the line pic.twitter.com/19uqLS9I42
The Maple Leafs get the Knights penned into their own zone five minutes later, and Timothy Liljegren gets to take advantage of the situation, and after Morgan Rielly saves the puck from escaping, Liljegren scores from beside the net to tie the game.
TIMOTHY LILJEGREN— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) November 9, 2022
FIRST OF THE SEASON pic.twitter.com/8ypWHaHdhG
Vegas takes a time out to look over Reilly's play, and to see if the puck crosses the line before they decide to challenge. Stealing a play from the Leafs notebook vs Vegas when they had Phil Kessel’s 400th goal called back. The puck stayed in by centimeters, so it’s a good goal and there’s no challenge.
man what a keep by Rielly— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) November 9, 2022
it doesn't fully cross the blue line pic.twitter.com/rdDuOc9YJO
The Vegas Golden Knights get called for too many men when they end up with six players in the defensive zone after an awful line change by Vegas. Maple Leafs with the first power play of the game.
The Leafs are able to get three shots off on this power play, but nothing past Logan Thompson and the penalty expires without a goal scored. Vegas is getting worked up, Jonathan Marchessault gets lippy about being touched by a Leaf while they’re trying to defend, so calm down buddy.
Kallgren stops the first shot and the rebound pic.twitter.com/OXtVbidMDX— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) November 9, 2022
Michael Bunting gets the Leafs first powerplay of the game when he’s called for interference just past the ten minute mark.
The Leafs penalty kill is doing a good job keeping the Knights to the perimeter when they aren’t dumping the puck out. No power play goal for the Knights tonight.
Erik Källgren is being tested a lot tonight and he’s passing by making some amazing saves.
Kallgren makes the blocker save on the deflection— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) November 9, 2022
Quick reflexes pic.twitter.com/olqDWUAhdu
Kerfoot wouldn’t pass a skating test tonight though....
William Nylander takes a slapshot at Thompson and it bounces off his forehead and out of the rink. That’s got to hurt but Thompson stays in the game.
Nylander fires a slapshot that clips Thompson in the forehead pic.twitter.com/sDsZodj4YW— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) November 9, 2022
Jack Eichel jumps onto the ice and fights through Liljegren to stop his clearing attempt. He send the puck down, behind the net where some fancy passing gets it to Mark Stone, who slides it across to Eichel and he gives the Knights the lead in the final two minutes of the period.
Jack Eichel puts the Golden Knights ahead pic.twitter.com/JYovSHLXrk— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) November 9, 2022
The first ends with the Golden Knights leading 2-1.
Alex Kerfoot and Mitch Marner pair up for a great play coming into the Vegas zone, with Marner setting up Kerfoot perfectly, but the shot going wide and missing the net.
Matthews' defensive work leads to a play between Marner and Kerfoot pic.twitter.com/9hbtVSj9F0— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) November 9, 2022
Erik Källgren is really getting put to work tonight. No ones giving him much help and he’s doing everything he can to keep the Vegas lead to a single goal.
The Leafs have opened up a bakery tonight and the special is turnovers. Morgan Rielly almost causes a Vegas goal by giving away the puck at the blueline, but thankfully it stayed out. The Leafs can barely get into the Vegas zone in the second period, lots of almosts, but the Golden Knights usually turn things around just in time and go on the attack.
Rielly just gets enough of it to disrupt the opportunity pic.twitter.com/7LttEHE0Gr— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) November 9, 2022
The Knights make a loooooon stretch pass from defensive to offensive zone and Rielly Smith comes close to scoring but Erik Källgren makes the save and clears out his own rebound. He is for sure the only reason the Leafs are within one against the top team in the league.
The Maple Leafs get the Knights trapped in their own end, Rasmus Sandin just keeps the puck in the zone, Auston Matthews gets tangled with three Vegas players at the boards, gets it loose to Marner who dipsy-doodles around the end and scores to tie things up at twos.
The Maple Leafs pen the Knights into their own zone again, with some of them getting stuck on the ice for more than two minutes. Morgan Rielly gets the puck at the blue line, passes to Marner who no look passes back to Timothy Liljegren and he scores his second of the night.
TIMOTHY LILJEGREN— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) November 9, 2022
WHAT A PASS BY MITCH MARNER pic.twitter.com/1Z3bTYQJyP
3-2 Maple Leafs as the second period is coming to a close. The crowd is on their feet chanting Go Leafs Go. The SBA is getting excited.
The Leafs are testing Thompson hard as we keep on going, and have well overtaken the Knights in shots, and are controlling the play for the rest of the period. After looking like Vegas will be taking over the game halfway through, the Leafs stepped up and denied them that, and decided to be the dominant team we want to see.
After two, it’s 3-2 Maple Leafs and they lead in shots 21-13.
The Leafs can’t keep it up as the third starts with play becoming more even. Nick Robertson gets a chance but doesn’t capitalize and then Mitch Marner gets called for puck over the glass. Not a great start to the third.
Nick Roberston with the steal and it leads to a breakout pic.twitter.com/GgXTduzOgN— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) November 9, 2022
The Knights only get one shot off on the power play thankfully, and Marner comes out of the box and beats the Knights to the puck waiving off a potential icing. No ones there with him and he gets double teamed in the corner and the puck gets cleared out.
There’s no doubt that Erik Källgren will win the player of the game belt tonight after all the game saving plays he’s made.
William Nylander is so committed to scoring he puts himself in the net.
the puck didn't go in but the will did pic.twitter.com/bvOnJcdd9T— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) November 9, 2022
Former Maple Leaf Mike Amadio takes a holding penalty on Michael Bunting, and the Leafs get their second power play of the game. It’s pretty uneventful until Rielly Smith is in a cherry picking position and he catches a long pass at the blueline. He teams up with Karlsson and they pass back and forth to score the tying goal shorthanded.
3-3 with eight minutes to go.
The remaining minutes of the third is a lot of high pace back and forth shooting chances for both teams. No ones playing it safe but no one is getting anything of quality either. The third ends without resolution, so it’s off to overtime.
Vegas comes out to overtime hard and after one chance for Vegas Rielly Smith comes back into the Leafs zone and scores the winner 20 seconds in.
It wasn’t a terrible game for the Leafs, the transition game was their downfall here, but Erik Källgren was the star of the game for the Leafs, despite letting in four goals. Everyone had a highlight and a lowlight, and the Leafs come out of it with a point. Not an awful result for playing against the best team in the league.
The Leafs are up next against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Friday night, the annual Hockey Hall of Fame induction weekend game, so tune in early if you like pomp & circumstance, or late if you don’t.