Oh. My. Grabovski. What a goal.
The Leafs turned in what may be their most complete game effort this season to defeat the Montreal Canadiens 5-4 in overtime. The Habs are now winless in three consecutive games at home for the first time in a long time, and having Montreal fan favorite Mikhail Grabovski score the winner adds just the right salt and spice to the wound.
Leafs fans had cause for concern when goaltender James Reimer went down with what could possibly have been a head injury, after a collision with Brian Gionta. Fortunately, Reimer was not experiencing concussion symptoms, and was held from the rest of the game for precautionary reasons. As reported by Kevin McGran, Reimer suffered some whiplash, and will be assessed further tomorrow.
The powerplay ranged from ineffective to lethal, as the Leafs cashed in twice with the man advantage, but at other points with the man advantage, were unable to gain the zone at all. Overall, of course, two PP goals for is a good night, although they opening goal of the game was scored shorthanded by Montreal.
The Leafs’ penalty kill went a perfect four for four, including a particularly effective 5-on-3 advantage, which was key to not falling behind for a second time in the first period.
Continuing their hot streak? Phil Kessel (1G, 1A), Dion Phaneuf (1G, 1A), and Joffrey Lupul (1A).
The MGK line looked good, and contributed well offensively.
Jake Gardiner made several brilliant plays to take away scoring chances, and looked solid all game.
A Note On Gustavsson
Thank God for Reimer.