Post-Game Analysis: Leafs Dominant in 5-0 Shutout Vs. Kings

Leafs Auston Matthews Awaits Face-off
Leafs Auston Matthews Awaits Face-off Photo credit: John E. Sokolowski / USA Today

The Toronto Maple Leafs have defeated the Los Angeles Kings, 5-0, at Scotiabank Arena! After a thrilling performance by Matt Murray on Tuesday night for the team’s 4-0 victory in Dallas, the Maple Leafs turned to goaltender Ilya Samsonov for this one, and was it ever a good decision! While being able to give Murray rest, Ilya Samsonov put up a dazzling 29 save shutout! This was now back-to-back shutouts for the Leafs without multiple defensemen! A real top-class performance from the group, improving their record to 17-5-6!

In the opening frame, the Toronto Maple Leafs had the better start out of the two sides, dominating puck possession early. The Leafs sharp start tested Los Angeles goaltender Jonathan Quick early. The Maple Leafs outshot the Kings 15-7 in the first period, A crazy start that even had the blue and white with a 12-3 shots lead at one point before the Kings late resurgence. Despite having a fairly productive first period, the Maple Leafs had a scare. 21-year-old forward Nick Robertson was caught awkwardly by Los Angeles defenseman Matt Roy that sent Nick into the boards. The controversial hit left a bad taste in the Leafs mouths for the remainder of the game. As for Nick Robertson, he did not return. After the game, Maple Leafs Head Coach Sheldon Keefe confirmed that Robertson will miss “significant” time. 

In the second period, things were a lot more entertaining, especially as a fan of the Toronto Maple Leafs! Five minutes into the period, Maple Leafs defenseman Conor Timmins played a pass to forward Pierre Engvall on the power-play, who fired one top-shelf on Jonathan Quick. This was Pierre’s 4th-goal of the season and Conor Timmins first point as a Maple Leaf! After Engvall’s game opening goal, the blue and white kept coming. Twenty-six seconds after Pierre’s snipe, Maple Leafs forward David Kampf buried his own! This was David’s 4th-goal of the season as the Maple Leafs went up 2 in twenty-six seconds! As the Kings tried to stop the bleeding for a bit, they couldn’t keep the Maple Leafs off the board! A breakaway chance for William Nylander was finished perfectly for his 15th goal of the season! Nylander went forward to his backhand and slid the puck right through the legs of Jonathan Quick, who had no chance. The Toronto Maple Leafs took a commanding 3-0 lead in just over a minute against Los Angeles! Just when you couldn’t imagine the Maple Leafs second period getting any better, it did! Mitch Marner scored his 11th goal of the season off a slap-shot to capitalize on a Los Angeles turnover. This was Marner’s only point of the night as he extended his point streak to 21 games! The Maple Leafs finished their dominant second period with a 4-0 lead heading into the third.

In the final frame of this one, there certainly wasn’t the same amount of goals as the second, but it was just as entertaining! Kicking off with a bang, Maple Leafs forward Pierre Engvall was given a 5 minute major and was tossed from the game for slashing Los Angeles defenseman Sean Durzi. Sean, the former Maple Leafs prospect, was going back and forth with Pierre in a pretty heated conversation before the slash occurred. All signs pointed to it being a penalty, but further punishment by the league is still undecided. After the blue and white killed off Engvall’s major penalty, they got right back to it! Maple Leafs star Auston Matthews scored his 14th goal of the season! The goal was assisted by Michael Bunting and William Nylander, who both had solid performances tonight! After the Maple Leafs fifth goal of the game and leading 5-0, it was pretty easy going the rest of the way! Maple Leafs goaltender Ilya Samsonov was able to remain strong, earning himself a 29 save shutout! With the way the Maple Leafs have been playing lately, it’s hard not to be encouraged by this group after this recent stretch. 

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Joshua Anselmo

A hockey mind that's always looking at new and insightful ways to bring different perspectives of the game we all love.

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