The Toronto Maple Leafs blew a 3-1 lead to the Seattle Kraken, but Auston Matthews scored to tie it, and Mitch Marner gave the Leafs the lead in the third period to give the Leafs the win and four points in their back-to-back. Matthews scored ihs 41st, 42nd, and 43rd goals in the win to get his sixth career hat trick.
Alongside Matthews’ hat trick and Marner’s goal, John Tavares and William Nylander each scored to help with the win. The Big-4 all showing up in the victory. The power play scored three goals on six opportunities, with the penalty kill perfect on three.
Remember when Matthews only had one hat trick for the longest time? Now he has six.
Jack Campbell stopped 26 of 30 shots in the win on less than two expected goals allowed by the Leafs. That said, the defense allowed two huge odd-man rushes that lost the team the lead, so there were enough mistakes to share. Nevertheless, this was Campbell’s first win in 19 days and five starts.
The Leafs have come away with imperfect wins, but bad wins will eventually lead to good leads, and at the end of the day a win is a win.
Matthews got the game started on the power play with a bang thanks to this snipe. Good movement by the group of five, with Nylander finding Matthews high in the zone before taking a step in and beating Grubauer.
the puck movement leading to the Matthews goal pic.twitter.com/pnYjxiqqtx— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) March 9, 2022
Carson Soucy did an anti-Severson and scored on the Leafs to tie the game early. Campbell gave up a huge rebound on Soucy’s initial shot, allowing the defender to get a second chance. Campbell was slow to come across and wasn’t square to the shot, allowing it to go past him on the short side.
Carson Soucy picks up the rebound and ties it pic.twitter.com/jv5JnjA7QC— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) March 9, 2022
JT scores again! Brodie with a big stretch pass from behind his net got the Kraken chasing, and it was Engvall winning an important stick battle quickly to get Tavares in alone with enough time and space to deke Grubauer and score. He’s nearly at 20 despite the slump.
Auston kept the crowd on their toes with this saucy move in the offensive zone. This play was a microcosm of his line’s dominance, not just in the offensive zone tonight, but for seemingly months. They’re just terrifying.
this made the crowd at SBA do the Ray Ferraro pic.twitter.com/8lNHO4DyCb— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) March 9, 2022
Shot attempts were strongly in the Leafs favour (22-14, 61%) alongside the expected goals being 60% as well. Tavares led the Leafs in expected goals by a large margin on three shot attempts. He’s been all over the front of the net with his normal line, but also in one shift with Mikheyev and Engvall. Kämpf missed just one shift and it was the one for Tavares’ goal.
After the Kraken gave the Leafs two more power plays, it was bound to happen...
WILLY!!! After a bit of a stutter on the power play, Nylander got some space on the wing and hit the back of the net for his second primary power play point (PPP) on the night.
WILLIAM NYLANDER— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) March 9, 2022
Shot through traffic beats Grubauer pic.twitter.com/eTH5l53znm
The Leafs defense slowed down a bunch, and Campbell was giving up even more rebounds, and then it broke as the first line and third pair basically created a 3-on-1 with only Dermott back. Campbell challenged the shooter, the puck got past Dermott, and it was a tap-in from there.
A stupid pass from Nylander on the power play, and Campbell unable to make a save, and the Kraken tie the game shorthanded.
A less good period for the Leafs as they turned the 60% shot share in the first into 40% in the second (9-13). Special teams was a big mess, with the power play giving up a shorthanded goal and the penalty kill not doing very well either. It was a messy period for the Leafs, who gave up two goals on odd-man rushes and generally making a lot of mistakes in the defensive zone. They got off their play.
And the Leafs give up three straight and Seattle take the lead. Lauzon took a point shot and Schwartz tipped it ever so slightly past Campbell with Brodie behind him. Campbell went for it with the block and didn’t get his body in front of the shot to protect against a tip.
The penalties started to shift back in Seattle’s favour, with Liljegren going to the box on a pretty weak cross checking call. The Leafs killed the penalty, however.
Auston! Matthews re-tied the game all thanks to a great play by Bunting at the blueline to keep the play alive with his foot, allowing Matthews to skate in all alone on Grubauer. 42.
AUSTON MATTHEWS— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) March 9, 2022
WHAT A PLAY BY BUNTING pic.twitter.com/EBVaucbFZc
Soucy took a cross checking penalty himself and...
Marner gives the Leafs the lead again on the power play! What a sick fake shot, step up into the slot, and then low snipe through the five-hole on Grubauer. Ah, it’s good when their goalie is just as bad as ours.
Robertson nearly restored the full two-goal lead on a chance from Tavares, but he shot it just wide.
Willy making up for his defensive mistake with some good defensive strength.
Bunting and Lauzon got into a scuffle near the penalty box, with both ending up inside it for two minutes. With under three minutes to go, the Kraken pulled Grubauer for the extra attacker.
Giordano stopped Matthews for a third, but then he got the puck back a second time, and scored his well-deserved hat trick.