4 point night from Timmins helps propel Maple Leafs to first preseason win: Maple Leafs postgame
Photo credit:Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports
By Joseph Zita2 months ago
The Toronto Maple Leafs were back in action to face off against the Buffalo Sabres in tonight’s Kraft Hockeyville game in St. Thomas, Ontario.
After dropping their first two preseason games against the Ottawa Senators, the Maple Leafs were up against a Sabres team who opened their training camp with two wins against the Washington Capitals and Boston Bruins.
The game started pretty quiet for both sides, mainly for the Sabres, before the pace picked up, and the Maple Leafs benefited from a broken line change, which helped them open the scoring.
Although the Knies-Tavares-Lafferty line wasn’t together tonight, a broken line change kept Lafferty on the ice with them which helped set up the first goal.
He fired a shot toward the net which got deflected into the corner. He picked up the loose puck and moved it to the point to Timmins, fired it at the net and found its way into the back of the net.
However, soon after Timmins opened the scoring, Buffalo quickly responded with a goal from defenseman Jeremy Davies.
Toronto was awarded a power-play towards the end of the first 20 minutes but wasn’t able to find the scoresheet as they headed into the first intermission tied at one.
After drawing a penalty late in the first period, the Maple Leafs started the second on the man advantage but failed to capitalize to retake the lead. However, Max Domi took a high sticking penalty just before the midway point of the frame to put his team on the penalty kill right after.
It was on the penalty kill that helped Toronto retake the lead as Matthew Knies sprung Sam Lafferty on a mini breakaway and he showed off the hands in tight to give the Maple Leafs their second goal of the night.
Not even a minute and a half later, streaking out of the penalty box, Domi received a stretch pass which sprung him on a breakaway, and he made no mistake as he roofed one over the shoulder of Luukkonen to give Toronto a two-goal lead.
They continued to generate a ton of scoring chances toward the end of the second period but it was another Sabres defenseman – this time Henri Jokiharju – who found the back of the net for Buffalo to cut Toronto’s lead in half as both teams headed into intermission in a 3-2 hockey game.
Toronto outshot Buffalo 28-10 through the first 40 minutes of the game and they continued that dominance into the final period of play.
Just over two minutes into the third period, a streaking Conor Timmins cut to the net, found Kyle Clifford on the other side and potted home his first of the preseason and Toronto’s fourth of the game.
It was all Toronto in the third period just as it was all night and Conor Timmins added to his already brilliant performance with his second goal of the game and fourth point with a point shot on the power-play to seal the deal with a 5-2 win over Buffalo.
Who stood out:
A handful of players stood out to me tonight in St. Thomas, but I’m going to pick three and briefly talk about them.
Conor Timmins, Sam Lafferty and even Noah Gregor are three players that stood out to me in Toronto’s third preseason game against the Sabres.
Timmins, who scored two goals, added two assists, and even broke up a play in front of his net, showed his offensive ability in this one tonight and is showing the coaching staff that he should be deserving of a roster spot come opening night.
Lafferty showed off his speed tonight and not only scored a goal short-handed but helped set up the first goal of the game and continued to show what he’ll bring to the lineup during the regular season.
Gregor, who is on a PTO in training camp, hasn’t necessarily shown up on the scoresheet, but similar to Lafferty, he is showing what he will bring to the lineup if he earns a contract after training camp.
He’s a speedy winger who isn’t afraid to go into the corners or battle for the puck in front of the net. He’ll lay hits and isn’t shy to rough it up, and that’s what we saw tonight in his game.
Highlight of the night:
The highlight of the net has got to be Domi’s goal that gave the Maple Leafs a 3-1 lead in the second period. He jumps out of the penalty box, gets sprung on a breakaway from a stretch pass by Timmins and doesn’t miss as he goes bar down and in on UPL.
The Toronto Maple Leafs are back in action Friday night in Montreal to take on the Canadiens. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:00 pm ET/4:00 pm PT on TSN4.
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