Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Toronto Maple Leafs News & Notes: April 22, 2014

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Here’s what happened in the NHL last night:

The Columbus Blue Jackets had a 3-1 lead early in the third period but the Pittsburgh Penguins quickly erased it thanks to three goals in just over two minutes. The Pens held on for the 4-3 win and will take a 2-1 series lead into Game 4 in Columbus tomorrow night. Recap from Peter Dewar of Union and Blue.

In the early game in the West, goals were much harder to come by. Neither team could get a goal in regulation before this happened in overtime:

Justin Bourne of Backhand Shelf breaks down Mikael Granlund’s game-winning goal, which has given the Minnesota Wild some much-needed life in the series.

It wasn’t all rosy for the Wild as Matt Cooke did another Matt Cooke thing and collided with Avalanche defenseman Tyson Barrie knee-on-knee. The Avs are expected to be without Barrie, a very talented young d-man, for four-to-six weeks.

You can take a look at the collision in GIF form over at Too Many Men On The Site courtesy of Patrick Helper and Zombie Prophet. It’s hard to tell if it was intentional, but at the very least it’s incredibly stupid and reckless by Cooke to not slow down or change course before impact was made. Helper predicts a five-to-seven game suspension for Cooke, who will have an in-person hearing with the NHL at a later date.

The full game recap is courtesy of Scott Drain of Gone Puck Wild.

The late night schedule featured a pair of shutouts as the Chicago Blackhawks and Dallas Stars both picked up their first wins of their respective series’. Corey Crawford made 34 saves for the ‘Hawks en route to a 2-0 win over the St. Louis Blues while Kari Lehtonen turned away 37 as the Stars bested the Anaheim Ducks 3-0. The recaps are from Brian Kinkade of Blackhawk Up and Josh Paulisin of Pucks of a Feather.

A couple of injury notes to pass along before tonight’s games. Detroit Red Wings winger Daniel Alfredsson will miss Game 3 against the Boston Bruins with a recurring lower back injury, as Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press reports. Joakim Andersson will take his spot on a line with Darren Helm and Tomas Jurco.

Philadelphia Flyers starting goaltender Steve Mason will miss his third straight game tonight as their series with the New York Rangers shifts to Philadelphia tied 1-1. Ray Emery has been stellar in Mason’s absence; stopping 63 of 69 shots he’s faced so far this series. Katie Strang of ESPN New York has the report.

Now to shift our focus back on a team that isn’t playing hockey anymore, the Toronto Maple Leafs have been a terrible defensive team for a couple of years now. Some of that blame is on the players, for sure, but there’s also something very wrong with head coach Randy Carlyle’s system. J.P. Nikota explains why in another succinct and informative post for Pension Plan Puppets.

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Tags: 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs Kari Lehtonen Matt Cooke Mikael Granlund Toronto Maple Leafs

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