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Post Game: Nazty

On an average night that includes a Nazem Kadri hat trick, that’s all that probably needs to be said. Tonight, however, was not an average night.

Despite being outshot 57-28, the Leafs somehow stole a game out from under the Columbus Blue Jackets, winning their 10th in 12 games off of tremendous showings from Frederik Andersen and Nazem Kadri in tandem. We’ve got your rundown below.

1st Period

The night started off the way we all predicted, with Dominic Moore putting the Leafs up 1-0.

Somehow, this weak backhanded goal managed to fool noted Leaf killer Joonas Korpisalo, and just like that the Leafs broke into the game in rapid fashion.

Shortly afterward, with a powerplay just expiring, the Leafs would once again draw blood. This time, it would be Nazem Kadri.

A great second effort from Kadri, and he’s rewarded with his 19th goal of the year. 2-0 good guys.

Before the period would end, Nick Foligno charged to the front of the net and channeled his inner Auston Matthews, kicking the puck to himself before beating Frederik Andersen. 2-1.

The Leafs, fortunately, would escape the first period with a 2-1 lead despite being outplayed and outshot.

It’s worth noting also that Jake Gardiner was absent for the last 8 minutes of the period, and would not return afterward. Luke Fox had the scoop afterwards:

 

Yikes. Hope it’s not too serious for Gardiner, who has been lights-out offensively as of late.

2nd Period

Early on in the second frame, the game would be all evened up. Just 2:25 into the period, Nick Foligno would strike again after Travis Dermott got beaten by Alexander Wennberg. The Leafs’ lackluster start to the game finally came back to bite them. Tie game.

However, the Leafs’ offense would continue to shine despite their low shot count:

Travis Dermott made up for his earlier defensive blunder, contributing an assist before Rielly’s beautiful pass to Kadri for his second goal of the night. 3-2.

Shortly after, Naz would be feeling generous, dishing out the puck for an assist of his own:

4-2 as the Marleau-Kadri-Marner line continues to shine.

Kasperi Kapanen would come close soon after, ringing a shot off the post behind Korpisalo. Later in the frame, Jack Johnson would add on a goal to cut the lead to 4-3, but the Leafs would once again escape the period up by a goal. Shots were 40-18, which is almost vomit-inducing.

3rd Period

The third started off with Andersen and Korpisalo trading off impressive saves.

First, Freddie:

Then, it was Korpisalo on Zach Hyman:

Not Korpisalo’s best night, but dang that stretch was pretty.

Despite not putting the puck past Korpisalo shorthanded, the Leafs didn’t give up on the ensuing play. After the power play had ended, Nazem Kadri would shine once again.

A glorious feed from Mitch Marner, and Nazem Kadri nets his third goal of the night, his 21st of the season, and completes his fourth career hat-trick. What a show.

The Blue Jackets would continue to press, but with the goalie pulled late in the frame, Paddy Marleau would seal the deal:

Nazem Kadri notched another point on the goal, his fifth of the night. The Leafs steal a win off of a stellar performance by Kadri and another lights-out showing from Frederik Andersen. His 54 saves on 57 shots were easily the difference-maker in what could have been an ugly night.

With the win, the Leafs improve to 35-19-5 on the year, now just 4 points back of the best seat in the house, currently held by the Lightning with 79 points and 2 games in hand.

Twitters

Uh… a lot.

That’s the President’s Choice brand Hat Trick.

It’s official, Freddie Andersen is the hero we all deserved.

Basically.

That’s all for tonight, folks.

The night might be over, but remember – the Buds are All Day.

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