Both teams start fast – no Mexico time going on here.
Ilya Samsonov with a good save of a scrum that starts when TJ Brodie does an ineffectual clear along the boards to a player already tied up.
Samsonov working some more as the Leafs are baffled by the offensive prowess of Pierre Engvall.
Leafs come back extremely hard, but it's mostly with the bottom six.
Posting this extremely early look at the shooting patterns:
A lot of shots, not very good shots. This seems to be the Islanders' somewhat hidden problem overshadowed by their bad defence.
Leafs get some chances and the play goes the other way, and guess what?
Mike Reilly rings it off the post while the Leafs play statue, and Mat Barzal picks up the funky rebound that goes behind Samsonov for an easy goal. Count the attempts by the Leafs to actually impede Barzal in some way.
Who are these idi, er, people? They get hemmed in, and everyone watches as Matt Knies tries to solve this alone. Finally Mark Giordano ices the puck trying to clear it.
Yippee. If I'm not grumpy enough, Ryan Reaves takes a stupid penalty on a late hit. Close to the boards too! Could have been worse.
Simon Benoit with a painful block is the play of the game so far for the Leafs.
Samsonov with a great save off a deflected shot from Engvall by way of Giordano.
Tyler Bertuzzi takes an even stupider penalty with a minute left.
So you out chanced the Islanders. Congrats. You're doing more right things than they are. It's just that one time you kinda didn't do the right thing. Otherwise, it's fine.
That's both more or less true and absolutely annoying. It's also hilarious to see this goal on the single good shot the Islanders managed at five-on-five.
Benoit hits Barzal on the PK – legal hit, so there's a fight. Bo Horvat, surprisingly.
Leafs get a four-on-four for a few seconds since Horvat seems to have gotten a penalty. It turns out to have been an unsportsmanlike, so we'll never know why.
Mitch Marner says, thank you!
Leafs now on the power play. There is a power outage, however, and they can't set up, can't make a pass, have nothing going on.
Oh wow. Kyle MacLean scores his first goal by undressing Samsonov completely. He has to play the rest of the game naked.
He was serving the minor for Horvat. I guess the Leafs forgot.
I sort of forgot to watch them for a few minutes – seems to have been a common response.
Robertson with a good chance that had no chance, as per. Samsonov with a big save.
Nice Reaves, McMann and Holmberg play at the net.
Great Tavares line shift in the final minutes, but no joy.
Second verse same as the first. The Leafs are still doing more right things. It's just those occasional very wrong things that have the Islanders still ahead by one. The caveat is, the Islanders closed the gap a little and started getting in tight to the Leafs net.
Oh well, they can count on the goalie as they take more risks and play from behind. Right?
Okay, you guys. One goal down is nothing, time to find your groove. You seemed to have it at the end of the last period.
Matthews gets all three posts.
Max Domi rips up the ice, spins around the net, and he centres that puck right on the tape. Of the Islanders player who was, you know, there the whole time. But speed is exciting!
Samsonov with a good save on Barzal, see above as to how that began.
And on cue, the Leafs are now not even winning on the spreadsheets, as the Islanders have the edge this period in Expected Goals.
Robertson making something happening, but Domi is easily taken out of the play by the Islanders defence.
Pontus Holmberg draws a penalty and the Leafs get a power play. Not sure that's a good thing. (Also the fourth line has been playing every third shift with 8-6 minutes left in the game.)
If Keefe was trying to agitate a power play out of the Islanders, well, it worked. Mr. John Tavares in the faceoff dot with the hockey stick.
And then again at the net-front, he's a multipurpose player.
Pierre Engvall with the knife in the back, and the Islanders have the lead back with only two minutes left.
What a lousy clearing attempt there.
Leafs pull the goalie, pour on the offence, but Sorokin is just barely up to it.
The game is over and there's some pile of guys for some reason. JT on the bottom, so okay, that's the reason.
Lots of talk in hockey about being hard to play against. One way is to come out hard and take care of the defence. It's winning the xG war and the real one both. It's playing the whole game. Because the hardest team to play against is the one that already has you beat.
Next game is two days from now. No time to brood over this one.