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Postgame: Chomped

That was fun, wasn’t it?

The Leafs reigned triumphant over the San Jose Sharks tonight, putting up a five-spot in Auston Matthews’ first game back form injury.

With the win, the Leafs improved to 18-8-0 on the season, launching them back to the top of the NHL standings in a points tie with the Buffalo Sabres.

1st Period

 

Like clockwork, the Leafs got to work on the Power Play with Kevin Lebanc in the box for tripping. It was tic-tac-goal from Mitch Marner to Auston Matthews(!), to John Tavares for his 16th goal of the season.A beauty to put the Leafs up 1-0 just three and a half minutes into the game.

The Sharks would respond at the halfway point of the period, with Tomas Hertl notching his 6th of the season to even things up at 1.

The tie, however, would last just 39 seconds. With Barclay Goodrow in the box and the Leafs back on the Power Play, it was time for Papi to get back in the goal column.

Auston Matthews rips one past Aaron Dell in a play that was quite similar to Matthews’ first goal of the season, and he’s got #11. The Leafs Power Play improved to 2-for-2 on the night, and the Leafs jumped back on top 2-1.

That wasn’t all either.

Before all was said and done, Mitch Marner snagged a fresh stick from the bench, received a quick pass from Zach Hyman and fed John Tavares for a beauty of a goal to put the Leafs up 3-1. Just phenomenal.

The Leafs ended the period up 3-1, with the Sharks boasting a 13-9 lead on the shot clock.

2nd Period

The Leafs got going again in short order in the 2nd.

On the Power Play (stop me if you’ve heard that before), Patrick Marleau converted on a generous pass from Tyler Ennis for his 6th of the season, and his first against his former team. 4-1 Leafs, and Patrick Marleau becomes the 25th player in NHL history to score against all 31 clubs in the league.

Joe Pavelski would rip one past Andersen on the Power Play later in the frame to cut the lead to 4-2, where it would stand at period’s end.

3rd Period

Hey, you. Guess what?

Auston Matthews is a Toronto Maple Leaf:

What first looked like Andreas Johnsson’s goal was in fact tipped by Auston Matthews in front of the net. A very un-Matthews goal is his 12th of the season, and the Leafs’ fifth of the night.

Melker Karlsson would add a late marker for the Sharks, but by then the damage was done. 5-3 Leafs, and the Buds are All Day.

Corsis

Source: Natural Stat Trick

The Leafs had a tough outing in the fancy stats department, with a 41.1% CF 5 on 5 tonight, but a win is a win, right?

A key reminder that the Sharks are one of the better possession teams in the league makes this result less surprising, but not entirely un-concerning considering they also played the night before. The Leafs could certainly have tidied things up.

Socials

This is… wow. This is all you need to know tonight.

The Leafs are back at it on Wednesday night, in Minnesota of all places. Will they be joined by a certain Swede? Let’s wait and see.



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