Shorthanded goals are rare enough. How about two on the same penalty kill?
The Toronto Maple Leafs struck twice with Morgan Rielly in the penalty box during the first period of Saturday’s game against the Ottawa Senators, with a pair of players breaking lengthy goalless droughts to put the Leafs up 2–0.
Justin Holl got the party started just 29 seconds into Rielly’s cross-checking infraction, taking a pass from David Kampf on a Leafs 2-on-1 rush before depositing the puck past Matt Murray.
Holl, 29, has struggled at times to make an impact at either end of the ice this season. His goal on New Years’ Day was his first since Toronto faced the same Ottawa Senators on Mar. 25, 2021.
TJ Brodie picked up the secondary helper on Holl’s drought-ending marker, which came at the 14:06 mark of the first period.
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) January 2, 2022
It took only 27 seconds for the Leafs to double their lead.
This team, Ilya Mikheyev broke in all alone against Murray after taking a pass from Alexander Kerfoot in the neutral zone. Playing in just his second game of the year after suffering a thumb injury in training camp, the speedy 27-year-old Russian made no mistake in beating Murray upstairs on his blocker side.
Once again, Brodie recorded the second assist on Mikheyev’s first goal of the year.
— LeafsJellyHD (@LeafsJelly) January 2, 2022
The Leafs entered 2022 with just one shorthanded goal in their first 30 games of the season. Make that three after the first 20 minutes of Saturday’s contest.
Jacques Plante and Johnny Bower were the goaltenders of record the last time the Leafs managed to score two shorthanded markers in the first period of a game.
Dave Keon and Ron Stewart tallied just 2:45 apart to close out the opening frame against the Montreal Canadiens on Feb. 9, 1963; the Leafs ultimately tied the Habs by a 3–3 score.
Leafs score 2 short-handed goals in the 1st period for the first time since February 9, 1963
— Sportsnet Stats (@SNstats) January 2, 2022
Toronto currently leads the Senators by the same 2–0 score after 20 minutes of play on New Years’ Day.