Four more games, and this is the big one until they’re all big ones.
Woot! Mitch Marner opens the scoring with a really snappy little shot.
MITCH MARNER 🚨— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) April 23, 2022
FROM THE RIGHT CIRCLE pic.twitter.com/PsryNLiMkn
First shot on goal of the game (the one the Panthers rang off the crossbar counts as a miss).
Kyle Clifford (no, really) almost makes it 2-0. This looks like a very different game to the debacle in the Everglades.
Clifford gets a point-blank opportunity from Nylander pic.twitter.com/BWLuMbcbHl— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) April 23, 2022
The crowd is a lovely mix of mostly Panther red with a lot of Leafs blue, so when Wayne Simmonds is tripped you get whistles and cheers for no call. And when Jack Campbell makes a save, there’s a soup chant, but the Florida hits get cheers. It’s fun, I like this, and I wish the NHL had more of this.
not sure why Bunting left the game but this was one of the last moments of his shift pic.twitter.com/z9mTikg1Op— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) April 23, 2022
Colin Blackwell on the top line for now.
Really lovely cycle by the Tavares line, setup mostly by Alex Kerfoot, but no goal. Clifford is up on the Kämpf line and they keep it going.
Another good scoring chance for Clifford pic.twitter.com/FxK7QXrddN— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) April 23, 2022
William Nylander is up on the top line, so the mixed up middle six makes sense now.
After a bit of a defensive disaster from Timothy Liljegren ruins a zone exit, the Leafs get the puck back again, David Kämpf carries it up and Justin Holl scores the goal, just as you’d draw it up.
JUSTIN HOLL 🚨— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) April 23, 2022
a double deflection goes the Leafs way pic.twitter.com/JiMQu1BqAt
John Tavares and Ilya Mikheyev get a great rush chance, and these offensive counter rushes are what the Lightning could prevent, while the Panthers just assume they’ll get you back after rather than prevent them in advance.
Radko Gudas dumps Clifford and takes a penalty, so the Leafs get the first power play which will span the intermission if they don’t score quickly.
Or not. Auston Matthews takes a hooking call, so it’s four-on-four.
Rielly deeked himself out on that shorthanded chance pic.twitter.com/MqyNAuRyx2— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) April 24, 2022
Maple Leafs forward Michael Bunting will not return to tonight’s game in Florida.— Leafs PR (@LeafsPR) April 24, 2022
Matthews comes out of the box and nearly kicks the puck to the Panthers for a scoring chance. Not the best PK I’ve ever seen preceded that mistake.
Maxim Mamin gets a roughing penalty from a scrum, and the Leafs go to the power play again.
The power play seems to be a get Matthews a goal vehicle, and I’m here for that. It’s not working, but keep trying. And they do, going well beyond the first minute.
Campbell stops Mason Marchment on that get you back rush of the Panthers, but the rebound goes to Sasha Barkov and in it goes.
Aleksander Barkov puts Florida on the board pic.twitter.com/dBeumqy6SD— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) April 24, 2022
What in the name of all that’s unholy is going on here!
Ilya Mikheyev in a wrestling match/fight with Sam Bennett. It’s the loopiest not a fight I’ve ever seen.
Ilya Mikheyev and Sam Bennett drop the gloves after this hit pic.twitter.com/reTwUAosIF— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) April 24, 2022
Leafs are overpassing to Matthews just a tough here. They should let someone else shoot too.
Toronto take a penalty when Jonathan Huberdeau is just too fast for TJ Brodie.
Well that was quick. Claude Giroux has arrived on the Florida power play, and everyone should be worried.
Claude Giroux ties it as his shot goes through Giordano's legs pic.twitter.com/22JSlpzX5F— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) April 24, 2022
Leafs survive the remainder of the period by practising not making good passes or clean zone exits.
Leafs have had a lot of chances. There’s no reason to think that will change.
Bit of a slow start to this one, but now it’s Spiderman up the ice, and Spiderman back.
another close call for Matthews pic.twitter.com/620T2p3ds4— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) April 24, 2022
The broadcast is showing another failed zone exit by Liljegren, and this is an issue. I know you all love him and his on-ice stats, and I’m fairly impressed with him, but look at him with the eye you’d use on another team’s rookie.
Potential isn’t enough in the playoffs. No matter how real it is.
On the other side of the coin, here’s a guy having a very good game:
strong shift from Kämpf gets him some scoring chances pic.twitter.com/yloW0SXqzA— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) April 24, 2022
Bobrovsky with another save on Matthews. Bob is mildly goalie-ing the Leafs tonight.
Auston Matthews winning those net-front battles pic.twitter.com/9QYXFmgXPN— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) April 24, 2022
Engvall goes in one-on-five and keeps it alive for the line change.
Pierre Engvall said, "Fine. I'll do it myself" pic.twitter.com/yzjU1UzOLs— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) April 24, 2022
This game has had OT smell on it since about 10 minutes to go, and I just have to say, overtime in the final week of the season should be illegal.
Not the best OT ever from either team.
Brandon Montour wins it on a — wait for it — counter rush with Mason Marchment.