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Leafs in overtime needs an overhaul

Mitch Marner reaches new heights with #19

Toronto Maple Leafs v Tampa Bay Lightning
TAMPA, FL - DECEMBER 3: Mitchell Marner #16 of the Toronto Maple Leafs celebrates his goal against the Tampa Bay Lightning during the second period of the game at the Amalie Arena on December 3, 2022 in Tampa, Florida. Marner reached a 19-game point streak to set a new Maple Leafs record.
Photo by Mike Carlson/Getty Images

The Toronto Maple Leafs lost in overtime from an offensive zone turnover for the third time this season as the Tampa Bay Lightning won at home 4-3 in an action-filled night. Mitch Marner scored twice for the Leafs, breaks the franchise record for consecutive games with a point, sitting at 19 and counting.

But on a night with such highs, and some incredible hockey from him, the result wasn’t there after a very short overtime. He and Matthews have been bad bad bad, so bad, at 3v3.

Matt Murray stopped 29 of 33 in the loss. He looked great in the first half of the game, and battled in the second half, but the overtime goal left wanting. William Nylander also scored for the Leafs, with his team-leading 14th goal of the season. Vlad Namestnikov, Nikita Kucherov, Ross Colton, and Alex Killorn all scored for the Lightning.

This game also saw six power plays for the Lightning, and five power plays for the Leafs, with one third of the game in special teams. Both teams scored twice on their respective power plays. Both teams also had a goal called back, the Lightning one for offside, and a Leafs goal for kicking (Tavares).

First Period

Before the game, Steven Stamkos was given a ceremony for scoring his franchise record 1000th point in the previous game. He was gifted a golden stick for his achievement. Steven’s kids both got gold mini sticks, so I’m very jealous of that. Among his other gifts were a Tiffany crystal (glass? necklace? ring? crown? Help me out here), a golf club, and fancy 5L wine in a wooden crate.

Hollowell took the first penalty of the game for both hooking and holding Nikita Kucherov. A mismatched battle for the young defender who got caught out on the ice way out of his depth. Marner clears the first puck on the kill, Point got a chance from Kucherov in front of the net but Murray covered up the net really well and removed options. Then the Lightning got caught icing the puck (might’ve been a hand pass) with their second unit.

Tavares got the first chance for the Leafs, cutting across the backtracking Bolts onto his forehand for a shot. Nick Robertson then pushed through the defense on a second rush for a weak chance off Vasilevskiy’s pad.

The Tavares line on their next shift drew a penalty. The controversial Ian Cole cross checked Robertson from behind. Nylander got a shot off the post, Matthews had two missed shots, and Nylander almost connected with Tavares in front of the net. The Bolts went shorthanded the other way and a bit of a wild clear from Marner forced Murray to skitter back and forth to have to keep the puck from going in.

Engvall gave the puck away on a line chance, but Murray made a save on Perry to keep things calm. Oh, by the way, this is Perry’s 1200th career game.

Brandon Hagel took another cross checking penalty, this time on Holl stopping him from playing the puck, sending the Leafs to another power play. Marner took a one-timer from nowhere that went very wide, the Bolts cleared the puck and wasted 30 seconds. Marner then redeemed himself, feeding a puck into the slot for both Matthews and Tavares. Great chance. Definitely the ups and downs of Mitch Marner on that shift there.

Giordano got a shot tipped off Bunting in the final seconds of the power play, total five shots in those two minutes.

Giordano pinched and got tangled with Robertson going back, giving Perry another two-on-one. Matt Murray stopped him again with good movement and being squared to the shooter.

Holmberg tripped Point in the final minute of the period to give the Lightning a second power play. Kämpf got his stick stuck in Stamkos as he went across the blue line. The play was called offside, to be quite honest it looked like tripping, but alas the puck dropped and I’m sure no one in the building moved on.

After One

A very penalty-laden period with two calls on both sides. Both teams had good chances, but I was impressed with both goaltenders ability to reduce rebound chances. Neither team got much of either.

Second Period

Holmberg’s shot from Nylander went off the post following the penalty kill at the beginning of the period.

Paul stopped Matthews from what was nearly a goal as Tavares was at the head of a pile crashing into Vasilevskiy. The Leafs actually got a power play out of it. Marner from Tavares almost got , and then Nylander from Tavares almost got the puck under Vasilevskiy, but he squeezed his five hole to keep the puck from sliding through.

Holmberg got a breakaway as he stole the puck from Bogosian and burst through the defense, but Simmonds committed interference to give Holmberg that gap. Penalties continued to go back and forth. No shots on the power play for the Lightning, but...

1-0

MITCH MARNER STANDS ALONE WITH THE LONGEST POINT STREAK IN LEAFS HISTORY WITH A SHORTHANDED GOAL!!! He had one chance all alone in front of the net, but he needed Kämpf to win the puck behind the net to get another chance that he didn’t miss.

1-1

Vlad Namestnikov gets his first goal of the season for a bottom six that’s really struggled to score this season for the Lightning. Matthews was down battling, Holl was just too far to clear the puck, and Namestnikov surprised Murray high. Cirelli got an assist in his first game of the season.

Marner and Sandin switched spots in the offensive zone for a shift, the winger/defender feeding the defender for a chance in front.

Thank you, Matty.

1-2 Offside

Kucherov’s long shot may have deflected off Point and off the post. But the Lightning came back with the same group and Point scored for real. Also from Kucherov, Liljegren was found on the wrong side of the post. Keefe challenged for offside, and it was! Kerfoot had right the call right away. The Leafs video coaches are 9/10 in the Keefe era.

Anthony Cirelli drove the net hard, but mostly drove straight into Murray in the blue ice. The net got knocked off (burn him), but Murray was okay.

2-1

WILLIAM NYLANDER WITH HIS TEAM-LEADING 14TH GOAL OF THE SEASON GIVES THE LEAFS THE LEAD!!!

Bunting, Cernak, and Kucherov all got penalties on a delayed call on Kucherov for interference on Holl. Nylander flipped the puck to the linesperson but Kucherov thought it was flipped at his head, so it started a scrum (convenient for the Lightning who wanted a momentum change). Bunting got goaded into a skirmish, but took Cernak with him.

Murray with a great shorthanded save on Namestnikov as Cirelli was behind the net with the puck.

Aston-Reese and Perbix both got called for hooking and holding the stick, sending both teams to 4v4.

After Two

Another good period for the Leafs, who led in shots and had 60% of the chances at 5v5.

Third Period

2-2

Kucherov tied the game on the power play with a perfect Perry screen in front of the net. Murray had no chance. Marner had gotten a tripping penalty four seconds into the period that kicked this 4v3 goal off.

2-3

Two power play goals in a row for the Lightning and the game is flipped within five minutes. This one is Colton on the second unit after a huge scramble in front of the net where all four Leafs were in front of Murray but no one was to the side of him.

Now Kerfoot gets called for a penalty. Earlier in the play, Stamkos skated into Murray’s head, twisting it. Murray looked uncomfortable and was slow to get up, but he stayed in the game.

3-3

MITCH SCORES AGAIN! This power play goal ended a terrifying string of shots for the Lightning amongst two goals.

4-3 kicking

A contentious goal, but John Tavares thinks he scores. But he’s wrong, he kicks the puck in. It was a sick end-to-end drive from him, though. Vintage JT.

Rough decision-making from Robertson to ice the puck on a two-on-two rush, rather than pushing forward or dumping the puck in, he feels the pressure and flips it deep before getting to the red line. The Lightning won the next faceoff, but the Leafs were able to get out of the error with 30 seconds left in regulation. Giordano blocked the shot and cleared it for the winger half his age.

After Regulation

The early pressure from the Lightning at the start of the third was terrifying, but the Leafs bounced back and tied it with Mitch. They pushed back. 5v5 shots probably don’t mean much in a game with over 20 minutes of special teams, but the Leafs lost it with of the 46% shots and expected goals.

Overtime

3-4

Marner turns the puck over and Killorn wins it. Overtime awfulness continues.