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Postgame: Ottawin

It wasn’t always pretty, but the Leafs reigned victorious in this season’s second iteration of the Battle of Ontario.

The Leafs improve to 33-17-3 on the season with the win. We’ve got your recap of all the action.

1st Period

The Toronto Maple Leafs hockey club…started on time?

The Leafs dominated the possession game early on, firing everything they could on Craig Anderson, who was initially up to the task.

Anderson shone as he made a stellar save on what looked like a gimmie for Nazem Kadri, getting over just in time to stone him. It’s been that kind of season for Kadri, but what a save it was.

Not too long after, however:

Noted on-goalie scorer Zach Hyman pots his 10th(!) of the season to give the Leafs the early lead. Hyman’s been a solid offensive contributor of late, and you have to imagine he likes playing with Mitchell Marner. 1-0 good guys.

During an ensuing stoppage, there was a touching tribute to play-by-play legend Bob Cole, who was calling his final Leafs home game in a legendary 50-year career.

And back to the game…

Magnus Paajarvi allegedly STILL exists in the NHL, and scores for the Sens late in the period. 1-1.

That’s how the period would end. A stellar start devolved into a less-than-stellar showing, and the Leafs would go into the intermission tied.

Jake Muzzin also briefly went to the room, presumably for concussion protocol after a hit to the jaw, but thankfully returned to action.

2nd Period

The second period started off with a brief panic, as it initially looked like the Sens might have gotten lucky.

Fortunately, the puck did not completely cross the line, and the tie remained… briefly, at least.

As unfortunate as bounces go, the puck found its way onto Nikita Zaitsev’s face, onto Matt Duchene’s stick, and into the net. Boo. 2-1 bad guys.

Things would go from unlucky to straight up bad for the Leafs afterwards, as Gardiner would head to the box on a double-minor for high-sticking. The Leafs would kill it off, fortunately, but the kill and the ensuing plays were not without panic, and were full-on ugly.

There was… this thing:

Yikes.

When things seemed to be on a full-on turn for the worse on the night, though, the Leafs woke up!

First, it was Johnsson:

Next, the Money Man himself:

And then…

John Tavares is a Leaf!!! 3 goals in 4 minute for the Leafs as they storm back to take the lead, and head into the intermission with their heads held high, and with a 4-2 lead.

3rd Period

Um…

Not an ideal start. It’s a 4-4 tie just 3:59 into the 3rd period.

Fear not, though, because Morgan Rielly is a Leaf!!!

It’s Hyman to Rielly for Morgan’s 14th of the season, and the Leafs go up for good. 5-4 was the final for the boys in blue.

Crown of the Game

Presented by Crown Royal. Could you give it to anyone but Morgan? Way to have a nose for the net, buddy. Norris, soon?

Corsis

It wasn’t always pretty, but the Leafs managed to escape the night with a 49.22 CF% after a disastrous stretch through the late 1st into the 2nd. Not great, but not terrible, and the win’s a win.

Socials

Our good luck charm!

He’s good, y’all.

Couldn’t have said it better myself.

Back at it on Saturday night in Montreal for Hockey Night In Canada. Buds All Day!



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