The Vancouver Canucks defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-1 on Saturday night. As the blue and white continued their road trip, the Canucks were just too much to handle, resulting in the Leafs loss. The Toronto Maple Leafs will now look ahead to Tuesday night as they take on the Devils in New Jersey.
In the opening frame of this one, it was fairly quiet. After a couple of physical moments, the Maple Leafs had a really strong start. The blue and white outshot the Vancouver Canucks 14-5 in the opening period but just couldn’t beat Canucks goaltender Thatcher Demko. The game remained tied 0-0 heading into the first intermission.
Once the second frame kicked off, more end-to-end action arose. However, this time stealing the spotlight was Maple Leafs goaltender Matt Murray. After a quick 2-on-0 chance on the rush for Vancouver, a backdoor pass by Connor Garland to Christian Wolanin was denied by Matt Murray. It was an absolutely insane save by the 28-year-old, pushing across using his athleticism to rob the Canucks of a goal.
The Canucks took a 1-0 lead on the power play with only 2:09 remaining in the second period. After the majority of the period was spent going back and forth, it was the Vancouver Canucks who finally opened the scoring. A Quinn Hughes blast from the point caught a deflection from teammate Andrei Kuzmenko for his 28th goal of the season.
Once the final frame was underway, the Maple Leafs came out with a blazing start. 32-year-old captain John Tavares added his 28th goal of the season to tie the game. After a beautiful pass down low by William Nylander, the dynamic forward was able to find his teammate John Tavares’ backdoor. The Leafs tied the game early, only 1:32 into the third period.
After the Maple Leafs strong play to start the period, the blue and white drew another power-play opportunity. The shorthanded goal felt like a serious blow, given how low scoring of a game it was, but this one wasn’t exactly over just yet. However, it was actually the Vancouver Canucks who scored while down a man. A two-on-one rush by Canucks J.T. Miller and Elias Pettersson resulted in Pettersson scoring his 30th goal of the season.
After the Canucks took a 2-1 lead, the home team didn’t stop there. After just scoring a shorthanded goal, Canucks J.T. Miller was able to get behind Maple Leafs forward Auston Matthews setting himself up for a breakaway opportunity. The 29-year-old Vancouver forward made no mistake with the chance, scoring his 21st of the season again while the Canucks were shorthanded.
After the Canucks scored not only one but two shorthanded goals in the third period. The Maple Leafs tried everything they could to possibly claw back, but it just didn’t work. After a failed breakout attempt by the Maple Leafs, Canucks forward Brock Boeser played a beautiful backdoor pass to teammate Nils Aman for his 3rd goal of the season. It was a poor play overall from the blue and white after the group really hung their goaltender out to dry.
Well, at least this one is over, and now the blue and white can look ahead to Tuesday night. It’s been a bit of an up-and-down road trip for the Maple Leafs, but arguably their biggest test yet is still to come. With the new additions Leafs General Manager Kyle Dubas made at the deadline, it’s going to take some time to settle in. However, make no mistake, Tuesday is going to be one amazing hockey game between two of the league’s best.
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