The Toronto Maple Leafs and Columbus Blue Jackets were back at it in Game Two.
After the Toronto Maple Leafs were shut-out 2-0 by Columbus in game one, their offense had to make a huge statement if they wanted a chance of tying up the series.
The last time the Leafs played a game in the afternoon was their Next Generation game back in December.
While that was a definitely fun game for fans, it likely was not fun for the coaches to watch.
So, the Toronto Maple Leafs start the game with Marner & Matthews playing together as a change of pace.
Kyle Clifford makes a hit early on, which was definitely a boost of energy to a Toronto Maple Leafs team who came out kind of flat in the first game of this series.
The Leafs actually get the first shot of the afternoon, and this team is playing with a sense of urgency and like they actually care about what’s happening on the ice.
After multiple shots around the net, the Toronto Maple Leafs get into a bit of a scuffle, but none of the shots actually result in goals. Five minutes into the game, and the Blue Jackets were without a shot on goal.
The Toronto Maple Leafs actually get a Power Play in the first period.
Shocking, I know.
What wasn’t shocking was watching the Toronto Maple Leafs keep giving the Blue Jackets short-handed opportunities. However, I will say that this is a completely different energy from Sunday’s game, so I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt.
It also seems like we have the version of Frederik Andersen where he is completely on his game. Always good when your goalie makes some good saves to keep you in the game.
Toronto Maple Leafs go back on the Power Play, but not shockingly, they don’t score.
So far, the team is 0 for 2 on the PP in the game, and 0 for 3 in the entire series.
What isn’t shocking is that Toronto was eventually in the penalty box. But, they killed that penalty, and the first period ends just like it did in Game One. Let’s just hope the game ends with a different result.
The Toronto Maple Leafs definitely made use of that second period.
Within the first seven minutes, there was lots of action. There was a Leafs Power Play, of which they didn’t score. There was also a Columbus Power Play, but the Leafs killed that, so back to even strength we go.
Toronto took their fourth power play of the evening, and uh, again, no goal. Toronto hadn’t scored yet at this point, but not for lack of trying.
Toronto Maple Leafs players and fans alike are hungry for the team to score, especially after the shots were 25-8 for the blue and white.
More scuffle around the net results in no goal. AUSTON MATTHEWS SAVES THE DAY!
In a move that only Toronto Maple Leafs Auston Matthews can pull off, he scores to give Toronto their first goal of the series after an assist from Zach Hyman.
The middle period of this one ends with some 4 on 4 action, and Toronto fans can hopefully breathe.
So, we have finally approached the dread of every Toronto Maple Leafs fan: the third period.
Known for being an interesting time, it usually isn’t kind to the Leafs.
However, pretty early on, Foligno high-sticks Matthews and the Leafs are back on the Power Play! While they don’t score on that, Tavares scores on a breakaway to put the team up 2-0.
Halfway through the third period, and the Toronto Maple Leafs have managed to keep this lead.
Man, Andersen has been good through this game.
Matthews and Marner go off on a 2 on 1, but Korpisalo makes another great save.
With just around 5 minutes left in the period, Spezza goes into the box, and Toronto has to kill yet another penalty. Which, they do pretty well by the way. Just as one penalty expires, Kapanen takes one and we have to kill a Columbus empty net penalty.
The Leafs hold on, but there is a terrifying moment near the end when Jake Muzzin goes down with an apparent neck injury and is taken off the ice on a stretcher.
We can only hope that he is OK, and though this puts a damper on the victory, it must be said that the Toronto Maple Leafs played an absolutely great game.