Ilya Samsonov had an impressive game, tossing his fourth shutout of the season against the Ottawa Senators. The result was that the Toronto Maple Leafs beat the Senators 3-0 on Saturday night. The Maple Leafs got goals from Michael Bunting, William Nylander, and Radim Zohorna. Zohorna was playing in his first game with the team.
Maple Leafs’ head coach Sheldon Keefe praised Samsonov’s performance. He thought Samsonov was on his game, especially since he felt that the Senators had better chances throughout the game. The win improves the Maple Leafs’ record to 44-20-10.
Takeaway One: Three Different Goals from Three Different Maple Leafs’ Players
As far as the Maple Leafs’ goal scorers go, Michael Bunting opened the scoring for Toronto early in the second period with a spinning wrist shot, putting it past Ottawa Senators’ goaltender Mads Sogaard before the goalie had a chance to even see the shot.
William Nylander then scored midway through the period. It was his first goal in four games and only his second goal over his last nine games.
Finally, with less than two minutes left in the second period, Radim Zohorna jumped off the bench and three seconds later fired his first Maple Leafs’ goal past the Senators’ netminder. It was a great night for Zohorna, who shared his excitement about playing alongside such talented players and how much of an honor it was for him. It was also great to see him chatting with his countryman David Kampf on the bench.
Takeaway Two: Ilya Samsonov Has Had a Great Week
Earlier in the week, Ilya Samsonov and his wife delivered their first baby. Today, Samsonov delivered in his own way. He logged a crucial road shutout for Maple Leafs, stopping all 31 shots he faced saves in a 3-0 victory over the Ottawa Senators.
Samsonov has been almost unbeatable on home ice with a record of 18-2-3. However, he’s been less steady on the road. But with the win tonight, he moved to a record of 7-7-1 in 15 starts on the road. His shutout win on the road bodes well for the upcoming playoffs.
Related: Maple Leafs News & Rumors: Murray, Zohorna, O’Reilly & Nylander
Takeaway Three: What a Maple Leafs Debut for Radin Zohorna
Radim Zohorna had an impressive debut with the Maple Leafs. As noted above, he scored his first goal with his new team late in the second period. The 6-foot-6 Czech forward tossed in a successful wrist shot from the left slot, beating the goalie blocker side.
Although Zohorna only played 6:15 in the game, he managed to get off four shots. He got his chance with Noel Acciari out with a neck injury and Wayne Simmonds unable to play because he was ill. He made the most of his chance.
Takeaway Four: Michael Bunting Almost Up to Last Season’s Goal Total
Michael Bunting has had a much different role on the team this season than last. However, he’s still scoring. On Saturday, Bunting scored the first goal of the game (and the game-winner) in his team’s 3-0 win over the Senators.
Given that he hasn’t played nearly as much on the top line with Auston Matthews this season, his production has been a pleasant surprise. He’s not quite at his career high of 23 goals set last season; however, with the goal tonight he now has 22. Although Bunting is being moved back and forth between several different lines, he continues to score.
Related: Remembering the Maple Leafs’ 1967 Stanley Cup Championship Run
Takeaway Five: William Nylander Finally Scores
William Nylander had made a point that he’s been frustrated with his recent lack of success. However, it wasn’t apparent on Saturday night. He played well, scoring his 37th goal of the season.
Nylander is now tied with Auston Matthews for the team lead in goals. His game last night was a positive sign for him and the team headed into the postseason.
Related: QUESTION: WILL MAPLE LEAFS RE-SIGN JUSTIN HOLL NEXT SEASON?
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