Travis Dermott is back!
That was the big story coming into tonight’s Toronto Maple Leafs game, as well Alex Ovechkin decided to give the Leafs advice on how to win pre-game, which surprisingly wasn’t “spend a decade losing in the first round of the playoffs, then play an expansion team in the final.”
Anyway, the actual game starts off well with Andreas Johnsson scoring in the first thirty seconds:
I guess the did start on ti- [gets smacked in the back of the head by Katya].
Following that, Evgeny Kuznetsov goes to hit Alex Kerfoot who trips and Kuznetsov goes over Kerfoot and hits the boards with his head.
Kuznetsov would return to play later in the period.
As things get going in the Leafs end, Morgan Rielly gets called for crosschecking Niklas Backstrom after he gets a little dirty with Auston Matthews.
The Leafs are able to kill off the penalty, but they do let Ovechkin get a few slapshots off from the top of the circle.
Immediately after the Leafs penalty expires, Ovechkin gets called for slashing Trevor Moore, so he’s off for two minutes (or less!)
Rielly spends this PP at the blueline and does a great job of keeping the puck in the offensive end for the first minute, but the Capitals start defending better as the clock ticks down. (For me info on Rielly and the PP, click here). The penalty expires without a goal.
Just past the ten minute mark John Carlson is able to get the puck over Andersen’s shoulder from the face off dot to tie the game.
Mitch Marner tries to take the lead back with a rush into the Caps zone, but he goes over top of Braden Holtby and can’t score. Ilya Mikheyev bounces on the puck but the shot goes high over the net.
The game continues, and during the TV timeout Jake Muzzin leaves the bench to go back to the dressing room for this hit from Tom Wilson:
Shortly after that Justin Holl drives Dowd into the boards in the corner, and he’s helped off the ice - putting no pressure on his right leg. Holl is called for interference on the play.
The Leafs PK keeps the shots to the top of the offensive zone, with no chances for rebounds for the first minute of play and the second, and no goal for the Capitals.
As they’ve done tonight as soon as the Leafs penalty ends the Capitals get a penalty of their own - Jakub Vrana is called for hooking Trevor Moore.
The Leafs put pressure on the Capitals, and then halfway through the penalty Lars Eller gets called for slashing Johnsson’s stick in half, giving the Leafs their first 5 on 3 of the season.
At the very end of the 5 on 3 the Leafs almost score as the puck bounces from Riellys stick to Matthew’ stick to Marners but none of the shots go in. The first penalty expires and we’ll get 5 on 4 action for the rest of the period.
The period ends with a 1-1 tie.
Oh, also, this was announced during intermission.
Jake Muzzin will not return to tonight's game due to injury (leg). #LeafsForever— Leafs PR (@LeafsPR) October 30, 2019
Who wished for Travis Dermot's return on a monkey’s paw?
The two teams start the second off a bit slower than the first, but we get another power play for the Leafs when Timothy Jimothy Oshie is called for holding four minutes in.
The Leafs are loving the point shot on the PP, and so is Holtby since the Leafs can’t score from a point shot on the power play. Mitch Marner goes for a spin pass that’s intercepted. No shots hit the net, and no goals go in. Still 1-1.
On that power play, the Capitals do sneak behind the Leafs, and get a breakaway, but Auston Matthews gets back in time to play defence and take down the snaky Capital.
Auston Matthews played defence! There’s your second period highlight.
Also, since the Leafs power play ended the the Capitals get one as Kasperi Kapanen gets called for high sticking.
With 38 seconds left in the power play, Cody Ceci gets called for [penalty]. Right away on the 5 on 3 John Carlson scores again to make it 2-1.
Another penalty! This time it’s to Washington as Michel Kempny gets called for holding Frederik Gauthier. Whee, another Leafs power play. Maybe this time they’ll score?
The Capitals have figured out the Leafs strategy, and have a much easier time keeping the puck out of their end of the ice.
Also, surprisingly, the Leafs do not score on the power play. 0/5 tonight.
Dmytro Timashov goes end to end and tries to score on the wrap around, and he gets the puck to Mikheyev on the other side of the net but the puck goes across the crease.
Hey, because the Hockey Gods™ hate us the Leafs get another power play when Jonas Siegenthaler gets called for interference.
The Leafs get the closest they’ve been to a power play goal when Auston Matthews and Nylander get in close to Holtby and start banging the puck around, but the play is called dead when the ref loses sight of the puck.
They don’t score, shockingly.
This game, summed up:
As I post that, the Capitals mess up their play and Auston Matthews scores his tenth goal of the season:
The period ends on a high note with Matthews scoring to make it 2-2.
The second period begins...with an icing call. Intense!
Tom Wilson Tom Wilson’s all over Tyson Barrie, and Frederik Gauthier tries to make him pay for the attempted murder of another Leafs defended.
Tom Wilson, finally, gets called for charging, two periods too late.
Then, finally, the Maple Leafs score on the power play.
Following this goal, the Capitals press hard and Alex Ovechkin ties the game at three each:
The pressure is mounting on both of these teams as the clock ticks the halfway mark to the period. Just before we get there however, Andreas Johnsson goes down on the ice, but Justin Holl got a penalty for interference? Refs, man.
Anyway, the Capitals get their sixth power play of the night and they don’t score. Good job, Leafs. The Leafs take the puck after the penalty expires and head down to the Capitals net where Holtby makes a routine save, but that then leas to everyone pushing and shoving, and both teams are just sick of each other’s nonsense by now and Matthews loses his helmet in the scuffle, but nothing comes of it.
Radko Gudas tries to start something with Marner, but, like..really guy? Marner just skates away. The period is counting down and both teams are trying to score the game winning goal, but they’re both playing defence well and nothing of value is getting to the net.
While Alex Kerfoot is trying to score, Radko Gudas shoves him into the net and gets called for delay of game, because he’s a dummy and made the net move.
Who’s ready for the Leafs eighth power play attempt of the game?
Not the Leafs because the Capitals get a short handed two on one and almost win! A giant rebound from Andersen goes out to the face off dot, but the Leafs scoop it up and run.
There’s a great passing play by the Leafs, but Kapanen gets the shot off just a hesitation too late and Holtby is in position to make the save.
The third period ends tied at 3. Now, we go to 3 on 3 overtime.
Overtime begins with Tom Wilson getting tripped and sliding into Andersen, and now the Capitals have a 4 on 3 power play.
The Capitals call a time out before the penalty expires, with the face off in front of the Leafs net. It doesn’t help as the Leafs win the draw and dump the puck down behind the Capitals net.
Mitch Marner has enough of this and tries to score on his own. Tom Wilson is trailing behind and considers slashing Marner in the head, but reconsiders when Marners pass attempt is caught by Ovechkin. As the Capitals go down the ice Mitch Marner tries to play defense too, but gets called for high sticking.
This power play gets the winner, as Ovechkin one timers a shot from the point.
The Leafs at least got a point, showed some ability to stand up for themselves, and now they have three days off for Muzzin to rest and for everyone else to work on fixing whatever is broken with this power play.