TOR@ANA W 3-1
A couple of days after Patrick Marleau made his return to the only team he ever played for, it was Freddy Andersen’s turn. On Wednesday night Toronto continued their California + St. Louis, four game rad trip. Although Andersen only played 124 games as a Duck it is still difficult returning to the only NHL barn you’ve called home.
Toronto scored first at 7:54 of the opening frame. JVR was coming down the left wing and flipped a saucer pass to a surging Connor Brown for the easy tip in. Anaheim tied it up a minute and thirteen seconds later.
John Gibson was amazing for the Ducks in the first period making a montage of hi-light reel saves. If not for him it could have been 5-0 after one period instead of 1-1.
In the second the tables turned as Anaheim outshot the Maple Leafs 17-6 and it was Andersen’s turn to steal the show. The. Buds weathered the storm thanks to their All-Star goalie who has been better than he has all season during these last two game against S.J. on Monday And Wednesday night against Anaheim.
Just over a minute into the third period, Patrick Marleau was in the slot trying to screen the goalie when a Ron Hainsey point shot was blocked and the puck dropped in front of Marleau . As he disengaged the defender he was able to get a backhanded slap shot right in the back of the net. The Leafs would add a empty netter and for Marleau its his 100th career game winning goals. Can you say Hall of fame!
The Buds finally played the way they will need to if they they wish to play hockey deep into May. A low scoring battle with a defence first strategy. Auston Matthews leads the NHL with a plus/minus rating of +12. His back checking ability as on display, particularly on one shift where he came back from the other end of the ice to break up a scoring play two times in thirty seconds.
Connor Carrick was back after missing four games in which the Leafs lost three. Roman Polak making room for his return.
Toronto will make the thirty four minute drive from Honda centre in Anaheim to the Staples centre in L.A. to take on the Kings for the second time in ten days and you can look for Curtis McElhinney to make the start as is routine when the Maple Leafs play on back to back nights