LEAFS POSTGAME: Put that losing streak up in Flames

Photo Credit: Tom Szczerbowski/USA TODAY SPORTS

heartbreaker against the Ottawa Senators, you figured that something, anything had to give. Tonight, something definitely did, as the Leafs powered their way to a 4-0 victory over the Calgary Flames.

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The Rundown

It took a while for anybody to make their first impression on the score sheet, but the Leafs did just that with a minute to go in the third period. Nikita Zaitsev took possession of the puck, spun around, and threw it towards the net, and Mitch Marner happened to be in just the right spot to redirect it home. That was enough to set the tone for a couple of great moments in the second period. 

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Toronto’s lead was extended by one of the most ridiculous plays you’ll ever see, with both Auston Matthews and William Nylander advancing the puck by falling over and swatting it with their last ounce of ability they had left in their motion. Nazem Kadri ended up with it, and he absolutely crushed a wrister into the top corner to score his 100th career goal.

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The fun didn’t stop there, either. Nylander eventually took a penalty for a hook on Sean Monahan, and as luck would have it, Zach Hyman found himself a suitable exit plan that turned the penalty kill into more than just a moment of survival.

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There were a lot of really dumb extracurriculars that went down slightly before the above goal and well after, but we’re going to save them for another post in the morning. What is worth noting, though, is that Kadri picked up one more goal, draining a long bomb from the left side on the powerplay to give him 20 on the season and the Leafs a comfortable lead. While Calgary tried to claw back (and eventually, claw at), Frederik Andersen stood tall and stopped all 26 shots he faced.

Blue Warrior

No disrespect to Freddy, who deserved his spectacular shutout, but I’m giving this one to Nazem Kadri. 100 on the career and 20 on the year are both awesome milestones, and he was a force for the Leafs throughout the night. Between this and the Edmonton games, he’s basically the Premier of Alberta now.

See You Next Time

With the win, the Leafs hop ahead of the Flyers in the Wildcard and the Bruins in the Atlantic Division race, and are now 22-14-9 on the season with an actual goal differential of +14. Their next game is on Wednesday against the Detroit Red Wings at the Joe.

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