The Toronto Maple Leafs were able to grab two points in this game against the Buffalo Sabres in a shootout. The game’s scoring would be opened by Phil Kessel, leaving the Leafs with a 1-0 lead after the first period. The Sabres would come back in the second with two goals of their own, but their 2-1 lead was short-lived after a beautiful wrist shot from Nikolai Kulemin as well as a goal from Morgan Rielly.
The only goal in the third period came from Cody Hodgson, putting the game into overtime tied at 3-3. Overtime would solve nothing, and three straight goals in the shootout from the Leafs would be enough to win it.
Some thoughts on the game..
Morgan Rielly really showed how valuable he is as an offensive defenseman. He recorded his second career goal, in which he snuck up from the point and found some open space to receive a Nazem Kadri pass. Not only his goal, but many other plays in which the youngster used his speed to jump up into the rush and make something happen offensively showed just how dangerous he can be.
Phil Kessel, putting up a goal in this game, is continuing his stretch of putting up amazing numbers. Kessel’s numbers have been so excellent as of late that this was the first game in the past four that Kessel didn’t have a multi-point performance. When Kessel’s hot, the first line becomes just that much bigger of a threat.
With the Leafs recording their third win in a row, they are starting to make up some ground in the standings. With how tight the Eastern conference is, getting three straight wins is huge and has put the Leafs back into a wild card spot. Hopefully the Leafs can continue their streak and start to pull away from those close teams behind them.
The Leafs move on to play the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday, where they’ll look to extend their winning streak to four in a row.