The Toronto Maple Leafs had a great bounce-back game to defeat the Florida Panthers 6-2 on Thursday night. The Maple Leafs scored the first goal; and, really, after that goal, the game was never in doubt. The team took the lead and then squashed any comeback the Panthers might have generated with a shut-down third period.
For the Maple Leafs, the stars came out to shine. Auston Matthews led the way with two goals. Mitch Marner and William Nylander each had a goal and added an assist. Alex Kerfoot ended a 25-game goal drought; and, John Tavares registered three assists. Matt Murray made 33 saves in the Maple Leafs’ net.
The win was the Maple Leafs’ third in their last four games. As I noted, the team rebounded from a 7-2 loss to the New York Islanders on Tuesday.
Takeaway One: Mitch Marner Is on Yet Another Point-Scoring Streak
Mitch Marner is playing lights out. He continued his impressive point streak, by scoring a goal and adding an assist in a 6-2 victory. Marner has now scored a goal in each of his last four games. He also has a point in his last eight games. In that stretch, he’s totaled 15 points (which includes six goals).
With his strong game, Marner has now reached 92 points in 71 games on the season. That keeps him on a pace to pass the 100-point mark for the first time in his NHL career.
Related: Is the Maple Leafs’ Core Four the NHL’s Biggest Bargain?
Takeaway Two: Auston Matthews Scores Twice Against the Panthers
Marner is not the only one on a hot streak. Auston Matthews is following suit. He now has a four-game, six-point streak. On Thursday, Matthews scored two goals, including the game-winner. He now has 33 goals on the season.
Matthews’ first goal opened the scoring early in the first period. His second goal pushed the score to 3-1 in the second period. Matthews now has points in 10 of his past 12 games. In that span, he’s put up eight goals and added eight assists.
Related: Remembering Maple Leafs’ Goalie Jonathan Bernier
Takeaway Three: Matt Murray on Top of His Game
Last night against the Panthers, Matt Murray played a solid (if not spectacular) game. He got the win while making 35 saves and only letting in two goals. It was a strong bounceback and boosted his save percentage while lowering his goals-against average. For the game, his save percentage was 0.943.
Better yet, it was the first time in seven games that Murray had given up fewer than four goals. In fact, perhaps his best save of the evening was one that was (upon review) allowed because his glove moved past and over the goal line. Remarkable save on a goal that was past the line.
Related: Are the Maple Leafs Caught Between Identities & Thinking Ahead?
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March 24, 2023 at 8:47 am
Biggest takeaway, Gord Dwyer & TJ Luxmore are incompetent!!!
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