Only 15 games left in the season now; 15 games for the Leafs to hang onto their playoff spot or fall just shy. With this win in Raleigh and the Islanders loss in St. Louis, the Leafs have leap-frogged back into the WildCard spot with the Rangers.
- Starting in goal for the Maple Leafs is Frederik Andersen. Starting in goal for the Hurricanes is Cam Ward.
- Both teams started out fairly hesitant,
- Carolina open the scoring at 8:59 in the first with a goal from Victor Rask, assists from Elias Lindholm and Brett Pesce. 1-0 Hurricanes.
- Toronto even up the scoring soon after, at 9:52 in the first, with a goal from Mitch Marner, assists from Tyler Bozak and James van Riemsdyk. 1-1 tied game.
- Nikita Zaitsev takes a cross-checking penalty against Lindholm at 19:01 in the first. Leafs on the penalty kill.
- Leafs will start the second period on the penalty kill for 1:01.
- Jordan Staal opens the second period with a powerplay goal at 45 seconds. Assisted by Teravainen and Justin Faulk. 2-1 Hurricanes.
- Cam Ward takes a bizarre interference penalty, going behind the net, but making no attempt to play the puck, instead allowing Nazem Kadri to bowl him over.
- Jeff Skinner serves Ward’s 2 minute interference penalty. Leafs on the powerplay.
- van Riemsdyk scores at 7:37 in the second, with the assist from Marner. 2-2 tied game.
- Lots of neutral zone turnovers throughout the midpoint of the second. Neither team seems to be able to confidently take it from end to end.
- The giveaways continued through to the end of the second period, but the score remained tied at 2.
- Martin Marincin takes a penalty 42 seconds into the third period for holding against Jeff Skinner. Leafs on the penalty kill.
- Both teams continued to turn over the puck throughout the third, resulting in a back and forth game.
- The clock runs down and the third period ends with both teams tied at 2.
- Overtime is ended at 2:13 with an unassisted goal by Morgan Rielly.
Tonight’s Blue Warrior goes to Morgan Rielly. He had a solid game (despite the turnovers), played well with Zaitsev. And… he was responsible for ending the turnover-filled, back-and-forth, consistently frustrating torture that was the third period and overtime.
That being said, Morgan Rielly has been providing a consistently solid level of play that was missing in the early part of the season. You don’t always see Rielly, there’s not necessarily any flashy plays. And that is perfect. That is what the Leafs need more than anything on the back end right now. Consistently solid and boring.
… But I’ll also accept a few additional shots like this too.
Rielly OT winner pic.twitter.com/UvxE21NYz1
— steph (@myregularface) March 12, 2017
Shoutout tonight goes to Mitch Marner, who appears to be bound and determined (even when some of his teammates lose faith) to drag this Leafs team kicking and screaming into the playoffs. James van Riemsdyk mentioned it in his intermission interview, that things had definitely picked up now that Marner was back in the lineup after missing games due to injury. Marner scored a goal in this game, taking his total to 17 on the season, and laid a hit on Teravainen that lead to a turnover and a shot on goal.
COMING UP NEXT
The Toronto Maple Leafs move on into Florida next, taking on the Florida Panthers on Tuesday, March 14th. Puck drops at the BB&T Center at 7:30pm.