Tonight the Toronto Maple Leafs played the Carolina Hurricanes for the 126th time, and the got their 48th win. The last time they met the Hurricanes dominated the game, winning 4-1 as the Leafs played the final game of their early season losing streak.
Tonight, was a different story.
The Maple Leafs faced off against former Leafs Frederik Andersen and Josh Leivo, who was called up today because you always need a former Leaf to score against the Leafs.
Here's a player who will likely score on the Leafs tonight and Sebastian Aho pic.twitter.com/3bNQjqIEqd— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) February 8, 2022
The Hurricanes take control early in the game with a lot of play in the Leafs zone. The Leafs do pick up their feet after a few minutes and even things up over the first five minutes. No really close chances for either team to make the few fans in attendance get to their feet.
Kase's drop pass makes it's way to Mikheyev pic.twitter.com/VXzW1Ramf5— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) February 8, 2022
It’s a very non-eventful first period (he types hoping to make something happen), as shown by the Leafs GM relaxing in his box.
The name's Dubas— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) February 8, 2022
Kyle Dubas pic.twitter.com/Ay8zIUNvJ4
We have a few good moments from the Leafs, Mitch Marner attempts to open the scoring and extend his streak:
Marner looking to extend the goal-scoring streak pic.twitter.com/z0SZC0oJe7— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) February 8, 2022
Petr Mrázek keeps the Hurricanes off the scoreboard:
Mrazek uses his arm to make the save through traffic pic.twitter.com/Vifs6WMhz5— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) February 8, 2022
It doesn’t work every time though, as Nine Niederreiter scores by deflecting an Ian Cole shot past Mrázek who wasn’t quite expecting it to come from there.
Nino Niederreiter makes it 1-0 Carolina pic.twitter.com/UJCE4Qi6zz— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) February 8, 2022
After the goal, Ondřej Kaše gets hit knee on knee by Brendan Smith, and Wayne Simmonds takes some exception to that and Smith pays the price.
Brendan Smith goes knee-on-knee with Ondrej Kase pic.twitter.com/0kMnIabbZD— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) February 8, 2022
Wayne Simmonds snapped pic.twitter.com/zXAcp8IPD3— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) February 8, 2022
The Hurricanes continue to play dirty, as Vincent Trochek lays a post-horn hit on John Tavares which starts another scrum. Trochek will sit for two minutes to start the second period.
The Maple Leafs are unable to score with the man advantage and John Tavares goes unavenged. They do get some chances, but nothing gets past [checks notes] Freddie Andersen?
What a feed from Nylander to Tavares pic.twitter.com/XYAFmBnOkk— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) February 8, 2022
Nice puck movement on the power play— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) February 8, 2022
Nylander gets the resulting scoring chance pic.twitter.com/Is1Mqmz8jH
The second period continues the safe, unsurprising play of the first. Not a lot of shots on net, no glaring errors from either team, no mind bending plays either.
Michael Bunting draws another penalty, as Brendan Smith gets called for hooking our dear boy. The Maple Leafs get their second power play of the game mid-way through the second period.
The PP plays great to start, but Matthews misses a pass and the Hurricanes take a short handed rush that sees Mrázek make two quick saves before sending the puck up to Nyander, who passes back to Matthews and the game is almost tied. No goal yet again for the special teams.
Andersen denies Matthews pic.twitter.com/0CHHEHzowV— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) February 8, 2022
Third times the charm? The Leafs get another powerplay opportunity late in the second, and it doesn’t take long until Matthews, Marner, and Nylander team up to smack the puck around in front of the net until Nylander gets it past Andersen for his 18th of the season.
Nylander gets the final touch amongst the chaos pic.twitter.com/215A2CkLuL— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) February 8, 2022
Update: Auston Matthews was given last touch on the puck, so this is his goal now. Sorry William.
The Hurricanes come back strong with Sebastian Aho coming in on Mrazek alone, but Petey makes the save and denies Aho a rebound, the Leafs clear.
Petr Mrazek says no pic.twitter.com/9M1vSpZvJp— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) February 8, 2022
Auston Matthews, who scored his first goal of the season against the Hurricanes and Andersen, scores his 31st of the season to give the Leafs the lead, and that’s how the second ends.
What a shot from Matthews pic.twitter.com/nKgpjE1OnF— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) February 8, 2022
This goal gives Matthews 230 all time, and ties him for 10th in Maple Leafs goals scored with Ted Kennedy.
The Hurricanes win the opening face off and Tony DeAngelo score right away. Hurrah.
The Leafs get a chance to tie the game when they get their fourth power play of the night after Aho trips Sandin, but it doesn’t last long because Morgan Rielly is called for holding Vincent Trochek. He was holding him so he didn’t get badly hurt, but whatever. Trochek is still hurt though, he goes to the room with assistance.
Vincent Trochek went to the room after this— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) February 8, 2022
4-on-4 hockey pic.twitter.com/x0icViwa39
Neither team scores at four on four or on their brief power plays, and with 15 minutes to go we are still tied.
Canes are dirty. Confirmed.
T.J. Brodie audible after getting a stick between the legs pic.twitter.com/sfsDRI9E95— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) February 8, 2022
Matthews makes a hit, and the puck slides down the ice where no one knows where it went. No one being Justin Holl, and where it went being right in front of him. Holl spins around to look for the puck, and while he’s doing that the Hurricanes get it, and Derek Stepan scores to take back the lead.
Derek Stepan makes it 3-2 pic.twitter.com/FdnmdlkwVg— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) February 8, 2022
Pierre Engvall teams up with Rasmus Sandin to tie the game up again, but no dice. Freddie learned to save.
Sandin jumps up in the play and finds Engvall pic.twitter.com/4BFDXYdw5G— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) February 8, 2022
What isn’t saved? Mitch Marner scoring in his eighth straight game.
MITCH MARNER 🚨— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) February 8, 2022
THE STREAK LIVES! GOALS IN 8! pic.twitter.com/T33prrMOBb
The Hurricanes whine and complain again about it being a hand pass but no challenge, no review, and the game is tied.
Andrei Svechnikov tries to frame Michael Bunting for hooking, by lying on the ice like it’s the World Cup, but no one falls for it and he gets called out by Bunting with an audible “Nice f’ing dive!”.
LOL Bunting— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) February 8, 2022
"Nice f--king dive!" pic.twitter.com/pDSb3DjUrF
The Hurricanes throw a few shots at Mrázek but he stops every one of them. After this flurry, Auston Matthews goes down in the Carolina zone holding his head, and he takes a long time to get up from his knees.
Replay shows he was hooked by Niederreiter, went down on his knees then was kneed in the head by Martin Necas. Matthews leaves for the locker room.
Auston Matthews went into concussion protocol after taking a hit to the back of the head pic.twitter.com/4shSJ3vNqL— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) February 8, 2022
Alexander Kerfoot tries to get the game winner in a kinda slow, kinda awkward, kinda interfered with way but despite tripping right over Andersen he doesn’t score.
Kerfoot gets a breakaway at the end of regulation pic.twitter.com/npHJSlhUG9— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) February 8, 2022
A couple shots for each before William Nylander almost scores the game winner, then Rasmus Sandin makes an impressive, important save for the Leafs. Ilya Mikheyev almost gets the winner, but blocked again and TJ Brodie takes the puck out to get Tavares and Marner on the ice.
Closer look at Sandin's defensive play— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) February 8, 2022
Clutch with a capital C pic.twitter.com/uLvVodDWpC
Tavares and Marner battle around the net, Morgan Rielly tries a backhand, and Marner gets the rebound to give the Leafs the win.
MITCH MARNER🚨🚨— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) February 8, 2022
OVERTIME WINNER! 10 GOALS IN 8 GAMES! pic.twitter.com/ex5lBZQ2Ya
Final score: 4-3
The Maple Leafs played well against their former goalie, and kept up with the Hurricanes for the most part. A much better effort than their last meeting. All eyes are on Matthews however, and hopefully he’s back for the next game.
Speaking of, the next game is Thursday night against the Calgary Flames. This one’s in Calgary so the game starts at 9PM Toronto time.