LVK@TOR W 4-3(SO)
After a woeful road trip that saw Toronto outplayed badly, The Leafs are home for three games. The first was against Las Vegas Golden Knights on Monday night at the ACC.Vegas is like no expansion team in the modern era. They have a 9 win and 4 loss record coming into play and they started 8-1. Golden Knights head coach says the expansion rules were good to his team. They came back to beat Ottawa on Saturday 5-4 and earn praises of Sen’s coach Guy Boucher who said “they are probably the hardest working team in the league”. A warning to those who think that they will roll over this “expansion” team.
Toronto faces Las Vegas, Minnesota and, Boston on Monday,Wednesday and, Friday respectively. The Leafs will be looking to right the ship and get a full 6 points from this home stand.
The Buds started out great dominating in the first period, scoring three goals including two from Nazem Kadri. The first was a rebound from a Reilly point shot. Then the second was JVR who finished the magnificent work of Auston Matthews who came down the right wing and did a little spin-o-rama around the defender before heading to the net. The puck then dropped to JVR Who had a easy goal from 3 feet out. The third goal, Kadri’s second of the period was all possible because of Patrick Marleau.
The rush started with a beautiful 90 ft pass across from Marleau to Kadri. Then two more times Marleau kept the play alive and finally he made a cross ice, tape to tape pass to Kadri who spun around and finished a goal that the Vegas goalie should’ve had. Vegas did get a goal in the opening frame and it was 3-1 after 1.
The second saw both teams with only six shots. Las Vegas scoring the lone goal from Toronto native Reilly Smith with 1:10 left in the period and after forty minutes it was a one goal game.
In the third as in the second, the Golden Knights got the only goal
and although the Buds had their chances, they just couldn’t score. At the end of regulation time it was 3-3, so the teams played three on three hockey themselves. For five minutes the teams traded chances with no winner so the Maple Leafs took part in their first shootout of the season. In the shootout Mitch Marner, who was the first Leaf skater scored the only goal. The Leafs hung on to win a very entertaining game. If you look at the stats of this game then it becomes clear how close this game was.