The Toronto Maple Leafs lost another game in extra time tonight, this time 4-3 to the Montreal Canadiens in overtime. The Leafs grabbed a 3-2 lead in the third period thanks to goals by James van Riemsdyk and Phil Kessel a little more than two minutes apart, but that lead wouldn’t last as P.K. Subban scored a power-play goal around the midway mark of the third. Max Pacioretty would add his own power-play marker to win the game in overtime. Here are some thoughts on the loss:
- The Leafs couldn’t get anything going offensively until the third period. Their first shot was recorded well into the back half of the first period. After two periods, their shot total was 13. Luckily, the Canadiens looked sleepy through long stretches of the first two periods as well.
- The only line that was able to really generate anything in this game was the top line. Van Riemsdyk scored with less than three minutes left in the first period when he deflected a Kessel shot from Peter Budaj’s right. In the third period, the top line was at it again with a shorthanded breakaway goal by van Riemsdyk and a gorgeous play by Kessel. Kessel took a deflected pass by Tyler Bozak, split the Habs’ defense and wristed a shot right under Budaj’s blocker. Unfortunately, the rest of the team couldn’t muster up any offense.
- The Leafs ran into penalty trouble in the third period. The Habs had five power plays total, and scored on two of them. The first was the game-tying goal by Subban on a slapshot from the point, and the second was the Pacioretty marker in overtime. Some of the calls may have been questionable, but eventually you’re going to get burned if you keep allowing a team to get extra-man opportunities, especially 4-on-3 power plays in overtime.
- The penalty that cost the Leafs in OT was on Jonathan Bernier for covering the puck outside the crease. It’s not a penalty you see called very often, but nonetheless, a penalty is a penalty. Bernier needs to be more aware in that situation.
- Bernier’s allowed nine goals in his last two games. Now is the time to give James Reimer the crease, starting Monday against the Columbus Blue Jackets.