As the Leafs took to the ice tonight in their green, Toronto St. Pats jerseys, the storied history of the franchise bubbled to the surface in this original six matchup.
Though an overtime loss was not necessarily ideal for the Leafs tonight, the team remains in a playoff spot after nabbing only 1 point in the game. Losses from the Tampa Bay Lightning and the New York Islanders today provided the Leafs with another chance to remain in the playoff race.
The Leafs nabbed the first goal of the game tonight, as Auston Matthews broke his 7-game scoreless streak off of a nice pass from William Nylander to open up the first period. His 32nd of the year put the Leafs ahead by one, and broke a few records, too:
Auston Matthews snaps a seven-game point drought and buries his 32nd of the year. 1-0 Leafs in the first period. pic.twitter.com/6jwavk8qiv
— Jeff Veillette (@JeffVeillette) March 18, 2017
After the goal, Matthews saw a little love from Nylander:
— Sean Tierney (@ChartingHockey) March 18, 2017
Chicago scored their first goal of the game midway through the second, as rookie John Hayden scored his first career NHL goal, because, of course.
John Hayden scores his first NHL goal and ties the game at 1-1 for Chicago. pic.twitter.com/wBtOw8RWcy
— Jeff Veillette (@JeffVeillette) March 19, 2017
Of course it's his first NHL goal, and of course it's against us https://t.co/PC4j6SvAu0
— The Leafs Nation (@TLNdc) March 19, 2017
The Blackhawks dominated through most of the third period, tallying the majority of shots and creating several high-quality chances. The game remained scoreless through the third.
The Leafs defence pairs were altered near the end of the game, as Morgan Rielly took to the ice with Roman Polak against the Toews line. The Leafs were also badly outshot through the 3rd period, shots tallying 39-25 for Chicago by the end of the game.
This game couldn’t be decided in regulation, and off to OT we went. JvR took off on a breakaway with just 2 minutes left in overtime, but couldn’t bury the puck as Crawford was in solid position to make the save.
Chicago dominated through the majority of 4th period, but both teams had several high-quality chances. Ryan Hartman ended the game with 17 seconds left in overtime, and the Leafs fell to the Blackhawks by a score of 2-1.
Toronto dominated in shot attempts in the first period, while the Hawks overtook and fought back in the second. Both teams competed hard in the third and in OT.
Many of Toronto’s shot attempts came from in and around the net, zeroing in on Corey Crawford, who had a fantastic game for Chicago.
The Leafs avoided the worst possible outcome tonight, that being a regulation loss and a Tampa Bay win. The Leafs are safe in their playoff spot for now, as they currently sit 1 point ahead of Islanders and 2 ahead of the Lightning.
The golden warrior of tonight’s game goes to Auston Matthews, who broke his 7-game scoreless drought tonight on Toronto’s only goal of the game. A special shoutout goes to Frederick Anderson, who made 38 saves on 39 shots .
The Leafs will take on the Boston Bruins this Monday at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto. The game will be broadcasted on TSN4, with a 7:30pm EST start time.