Florida Panthers @ Toronto Maple Leafs
The next game, the season’s second-to-last, was played before a subdued ACC crowd against the visiting Florida Panthers. Drew MacIntyre made his first career NHL start after twelve years of working his way up the professional hockey ranks, sadly for him the Leafs did not give enough of an effort to give him his first career NHL win. Brandon Pirri took the lead for Florida in the first period, the Toronto native has more points with his new team than any other player moved at the deadline except for Thomas Vanek.
Tyler Bozak’s 19th of the season tied the game in the second period on a goal set up by Jake Gardiner. Gardiner’s assist helped him tie his rookie season point total of 30. Florida outplayed Toronto for most of the period, sending 17 shots on goal in the frame. Had the Leafs limited them to 16 they would have made it into the final period tied but Brad Boyes seemed to catch them napping as the clock wound down, scoring with three seconds remaining. The late goal took the life of the Leafs in the final period, they allowed Nick Bjugstad to score two goals for a 4-1 Florida lead after just six minutes, the second coming when the Leafs had a man-advantage. The Leafs came on after the fourth goal, they ended up sending 15 shots at Roberto Luongo in the final period. Paul Ranger’s was the only one to beat Lu, the Leafs losing 4-2. Gardiner drew another assist on Ranger’s goal, setting a new career high in points. He has 14 points in his last 17 games.
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