Drew MacIntyre made his first career start as the Toronto Maple Leafs took on the Florida Panthers tonight. Florida scored the lone goal in the opening period, Brandon Pirri putting his team up 1-0. Pirri’s goal was his seventh in 20 games since being traded from the Chicago Blackhawks, with six assists to go along with them in that span Pirri has outscored every other 2014 trade deadline acquisition but Thomas Vanek (including Martin St. Louis, Matt Moulson, and Marian Gaborik).
The Leafs tied it up after the break, Tyler Bozak netted his 19th of the season – Jake Gardiner’s assist helped him tie his career high in points. The Leafs almost managed to go into the third period with a tie game but their penchant for slowing down late got the better of them and Brad Boyes took advantage to make it 2-1 with three seconds remaining.
The Panthers took the game to the Leafs for much of the second period, peppering MacIntyre with 17 shots in the middle frame. Drew MacIntyre looked good – albeit erratic – in the period, making some key saves including this goal line desperation move:
MacIntyre’s good play in the second period didn’t trickle into the third period, Nick Bjugstad scored with an along-the-ice shot on a wraparound move. Things went from bad to worse moments later, the catalyst being Bjugstad again with a shorthanded goal to give Florida a three-goal lead. Dion Phaneuf and Jesse Winchester fought after that, Phaneuf responding to a slash. Paul Ranger scored his sixth goal of the season next, the goal giving the Leafs some life but they couldn’t register another goal. The game ended 4-2.