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emfizz.com April 30, 2017


Pens fall in Toronto, 5-3, as Leafs clinch playoff spot

21 April 2017, 08:25 | Andy Ferguson

COMMENTARY: Leafs hoping for David and Goliath repeat

Leaves Saturday's game after hit to head

"We're going to find out that it's way different than regular-season hockey".

Goalie Frederik Andersen may be outmatched by Holtby, but he has shown he can steal a game or two for Toronto. He went on to become the fourth rookie in League history to score 40 goals in a season before his 20th birthday, joining Dale Hawerchuk, Sylvain Turgeon and Mario Lemieux.

Boston would have been the best team for the Caps to face.

Less than a day after booking their ticket to the post-season, the Toronto Maple Leafs frittered away a chance to climb the standings and avoid the Presidents' Trophy winners in the first round.

While Washington was the league's best regular season team a year ago and a favorite to contend for the Stanley Cup again this season, the Maple Leafs' quick ascension has been a surprise.

Sestito was assessed a minor penalty for goaltender interference at 2:05.

After fellow rising star John Gibson joined the lineup and split the net with him, though, the Ducks made the executive decision to protect themselves from the upcoming expansion draft and dealt Andersen to the Leafs.

Backup Curtis McElhinney then entered the game.

Leafs head coach Mike Babcock held a team meeting before Friday's optional practice to impress on his young charges the need to forget about how excited a playoff-charged city is getting and to play the game they were taught. To most, that series would be preferable than the alternative, given that Ottawa is suffering through injuries. It's likely Andersen is going through the NHL's concussion protocol. Two weeks earlier, the 27-year-old was hit in similar fashion by Sabres forward William Carrier, Andersen missing the ensuing start with an undisclosed upper body injury.

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It was hard but it's a really serious thing. "There is no golden way to deal with this because it was the first time for everyone. We tried to give everything we could and in this situation, we still played a good game.


The Blue Jackets are still faltering down the stretch, as their loss to the Flyers on Saturday was their sixth in a row and their eighth in their last 10 games. "Obviously, he's been the heart and soul of this team playing the amount of games (66) that he has so far".

Kasperi Kapanen scored his first career National Hockey League goal at 14:30 of the third when he was left uncovered at the right side of the net. Brown's late goal saved the club from defeat against a Penguins squad that had Sidney Crosby, Kessel and few other regulars, with Pittsburgh opting to rest a handful of players ahead of the playoffs.

And if you're a member of Leafs Nation, you would have no doubt of the cruelty of the hockey gods.

NOTES: Toronto rookie D Nikita Zaitsev left in the first period after a hit from Nick Foligno into the end boards. Toronto built a 2-0 lead early in the second period, but the Blue Jackets stormed back and ripped off three unanswered goals to take a 3-2 lead.

Connor McDavid has 97 points for the Edmonton Oilers this season.

Point added his second of the night with 5:49 left in the third to seal the win for Tampa.

Guentzel has scored in five consecutive games. That gave the youthful Maple Leafs three goals in the final 5:30 of the third period. The Leafs were tenth with 51 percent.

The Leafs answered right back 29 seconds later on a goal from James van Riemsdyk. If TOR gets no point, TOR-WSH/BOS-OTT. The play that led to the goal served as an excellent example of van Riemsdyk's hand-eye coordination, as he managed to bat the puck down at the blue line and stay onside prior to making a move to his forehand and scoring.



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