Tonight, Toronto faces off against the very hot New York Rangers with the even hotter Igor Shesterkin. The Maple Leafs have the re-acquired Ilya Lyubushkin and the returning Calle Jarnkrok to the lineup.

Let's see how they do!


Matthews had a good chance early. When is he not getting quality scoring chances?

Matthews has another really good chance, but the puck hopped over his stick in front.

Shots are equal through the first 5 or so minutes, but the Rangers have had the better quantity of shot attempts and quality of scoring chances early on. Mind you, those both don't count Matthews' near misses since they both whiffed or missed the net.

It won't count Holmberg's near miss either.

Toronto gets the first powerplay of the game as Trouba hit Nylander in the face with his stick. But they struggled to ever really get set up or generate anything, and New York killed it off pretty easily.

Knies got a really good chance that would actually get counted off a great Marner pass.

But the Rangers strike first. Lafreniere sniped a shot through traffic. 1-0 New York.

The Rangers got another great chance later in the period, but Sammy stood tall on the breakaway.

Toronto took a penalty right after, however, so Toronto will go to the penalty kill. Thankfully, New York took a penalty pretty early on the powerplay, so we go to 4 on 4.

Unfortunately, Simon Benoit took a penalty right before Toronto was about to go on a short powerplay. So back to the penalty kill they go! They managed to kill it off, with the Rangers almost scoring off a post and rebound that Rielly cleared off the line. The period ends right after, with New York holding the one goal lead.

First Period Thoughts:

  • Toronto played a very strong period. Even at the start when the underlying numbers favoured the Rangers, I thought the Leafs had some good chances that weren't 'counted' because they didn't result in a shot attempt/shot on net.
  • That said, Toronto didn't wind up getting a lot of good chances in dangerous areas that had an actual shot on net. Can't score if you can't do that.
  • The top line looked very dangerous through the period.
  • Sammy and the defense still make me nervous.
  • Apparently Willy did not play after Lafreniere's goal? That's nerve wracking, though it sounds like it's a benching from flying the zone right before the goal.


Nylander is back to start the period. Benching confirmed.

MITCHY! Marner won a loose puck battle against two Rangers along the boards, took it to the net himself, and had a fortunate accidental fake whiff to open Shesterkin's five hole. We have a tie game.

Not long after, Toronto gave up an odd man rush and Trochek snuck one through an awkwardly sliding Samsonov. New York restores their lead.

WILLY! After a great shift in the Rangers' end, Nylander turned and fired a shot from the point that found its way through all the traffic and past Shesterkin. We're all tied up again, 2-2.

Sammy has had to make some good saves in this game. He still scares me at times with how he moves, but he's keeping Toronto in it.

Matthews catches a stick in the face, and Toronto will go to the powerplay with the chance to get their first lead of the game.

The best chance of that powerplay went to the Rangers. So... not great.

Even more unfortunately, Knies then took a high sticking penalty and Toronto will go to the penalty kill. The period ends in the middle of the penalty, so the third period will start with about half of a Rangers powerplay.

Second Period Thoughts:

  • Toronto holds a 22-16 advantage in shots on net in all situations, and are up 40-25 in shot attempts and have 71% of the xGF% at even strength. They've slowly been taking over the game at 5v5.
  • They did a much better job in the second period at getting to the net with their shots and chances.
  • Their penalty kill has done well, but their powerplay has been pretty ass. In all situations the shot attempts and expected goals gets closer to even, with Toronto still holding the advantage.
  • The McMann-Tavares-Jarnkrok line has been very strong on the game at controlling play. The Matthews line has also been good.
  • The Bertuzzi-Domi-Nylander line and the fourth line have been the weak points.


Boosh isn't on the bench to start the third period.

Toronto kills the rest of the Knies penalty, and we're back to even strength.

The Tavares line has continued to look really good in this game.

Knies has had a very high effort game, but hasn't had much to show for it so far.

THE TAVARES LINE STRIKES! They finally get rewarded for their great work this game, with another double deflection goal from a Jarnkrok shot that ultimately bounced off of Tavares in front. Toronto gets their first lead of the game.

Domi had a glorious chance to extend the lead, but Shesterkin stoned him.

Samsonov with a big glove save with only a couple of minutes left, and Toronto holding onto the one goal lead.

Marner JUST missed sealing the deal with the empty net. And it came back to bite them, as off the ensuing faceoff the Rangers tied it up off the draw.

We're going to overtime!


WHAT A SAVE BY SAMMY! A desperation lunge to keep the game tied.

He had to make another very good save later in the overtime when Matthews and Bertuzzi were gassed out on the ice.

New York definitely had the better chances and controlled play in the overtime, outshooting Toronto 5-0. But we're going to a shootout.

  • Nylander – missed the net.
  • Panarin – stopped by Sammy.
  • Matthews – stopped by Shesterkin.
  • Zibanejad – goal.
  • Marner has to score – goal? Refs are reviewing if he didn't make forward progress. That'll be an interesting call since he did pull it back but was still moving away from the net at the time. It counts!
  • Lafreniere for the win – stopped by Sammy!
  • Domi for the lead – goal!
  • Sammy can seal the win if he stops Trochek – hits the post! Toronto wins!

Final Thoughts:

  • Toronto had a very strong control of the game at even strength, by shots and even more so by expected goals. New York closed the gap with their special teams and strong play by Shesterkin.
  • Samsonov looked shaky early but he made some very big saves after the first period to keep them in it, including that one in overtime.
  • Toronto's top players played very well overall, the Tavares line in particular looks like a very energetic, fast, physical and tough line to play against.