BOS@TOR W 3-2 (OT)
The Annual “hall of fame game” took place on Friday at the ACC. In the players category for the class of 2017 there was Some big names being inducted. Paul Kariya, Teemu Selanne. , Mark Recchi, Dave Anderychuk and, Danielle Goyette. After a first class ceremony for the indictees and also veterans for remembrance day it was time for puck drop. Any original six matchup is special. This head to head is even more special because of the hall of fame glitz surrounding it and the superstars in attendance and because the two teams will play again Saturday night in Boston.
The Maple Leafs did not have Auston Matthews in the line up as the Franchise missed the second game of his career. Toronto was looking to see who would step up in his absence. It was JVR And Mitch Marner. JVR had two goals and although Marner has two assists, he had a hand in setting up all three goals.
The goalies stole the show in this one combining for 63 saves between them with Andersen stopping 33. With sixteen seconds left in the 2nd period and with Toronto on the power play, down 1-0, JVR got a rebound off a Morgan Rielly point shot and skated right around the goalie depositing the puck into an empty net. After forty minutes it was 1-1.
In the third period Boston regained the lead on the power-play with just over five minutes left to play. Then Toronto pulled their goalie for the extra man and it worked as they scored with exactly one minute left and for a team who has trouble at the beginning and end of each period this was a revelation. JVR tipped in a slap pass by MitchMarner into the back of the net for his second of the game. After regulation time the teams were deadlocked. In the Overtime it was Marner again. First he stripped the Boston player of the puck inside his own blue line. Then Marner skated up ice with a 3-2 attack. He crossed the blue line and passed to his right where Jake Gardiner slap passed it to Patrick Marleau who tipped it in for his second game winner in six games. Patrick Marleau showing the huge group of hall of farmers that he will soon walk among them.
The Leafs swept the three game home stand collecting all six points available. They now fly to Boston for a rematch Saturday night. I expect Curtis McElhinney to start but Toronto doesn’t play again until Thursday so Babcock might elect for Andersen again.