Toronto Maple Leafs Score Early To Beat Florida Panthers 7-5

ON THE SCORESHEET

–       Patrick Marleau opened the scoring for the Maple Leafs at 2:06 of the first period. Tonight’s game is the 1,651st regular season game of Marleau’s career, tying Chris Chelios for sixth place on the NHL’s all-time games played list.

–       Jake Muzzin scored the second Maple Leafs goal of the night at 4:21 of the first period. Muzzin has 11 points (4 goals, 7 assists) in 13 games at Scotiabank Arena since becoming a Maple Leaf

–       John Tavares scored Toronto’s third goal of the game on the power play at 11:05 of the first period and later scored the fourth Maple Leafs goal of the night at 15:04 of the first period before he completed the hat trick at 5:51 of the second period. He then scored Toronto’s sixth goal of the night at 3:57 of the third period. Tavares has points (5-2-7) in three consecutive games. Tonight’s game is Tavares’ seventh multi-goal and 25th multi-point game of the season.  His four goals tonight gave him his second hat trick of the season (Previous: Oct. 7 at Chicago) and the 10th of his NHL career, while establishing a new career-high for goals in a game (Previous: 3 – 9x). Per NHL Stats, Tavares’ four goal performance gives him 45 goals on the season to surpass Eddie Olczyk (42 in 1987-88) for the most goals by a player in their first season with the Maple Leafs.

–       Zach Hyman registered the primary assist on Tavares’ second goal in the first period and later had the secondary assist on Tavares’ fourth goal of the night before scoring the seventh Maple Leafs goal of the game at 6:51 of the third period. Hyman has goals (3) and points (3-2-5) in three consecutive games. He has registered 20 points (12-8-20) in 26 games since the All-Star Break.

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–       Nazem Kadri registered the primary assist on Marleau’s first period goal. Kadri has four points (1-3-4) in four games against the Panthers this season. Toronto is 22-4-1 when Kadri records a point in 2018-19.

–       Kasperi Kapanen collected the secondary assist on Marleau’s first period goal. Kapanen has recorded 11 of his 24 assists against Atlantic Division opponents in 2018-19.

–       Andreas Johnsson recorded the primary assist on Muzzin’s first period goal. Johnsson has recorded 31 (16-15-31) of his 42 points on home ice this season.

–       Nikita Zaitsev had the secondary assist on Muzzin’s first period goal. Zaitsev has recorded eight (2-6-8) of his 14 points against Atlantic Division opponents in 2018-19.

–       Mitch Marner registered the primary assist on Tavares’ power play goal in the first period and later had the primary assist on Tavares’ fourth goal of the night before adding the secondary assist on Hyman’s third period goal. Marner has points (1-4-5) in three consecutive games. He leads the Maple Leafs in power play points (3-17-20). Tonight’s game is his 20th multi-assist and 27th multi-point performance of the season.

–       Auston Matthews had the secondary assist on Tavares’ first goal in the first period. Matthews has five points (2-3-5) in four games against the Panthers this season.

–       William Nylander had the secondary assist on Tavares’ second goal in the first period and later added the secondary assist on Tavares’ second period goal. Tonight’s game is his fifth multi-assist and eighth multi-point performance of the season. Nylander has three assists over his last three games. He has nine assists in 12 games this month.

–       Morgan Rielly registered the primary assist on Tavares’ second period goal and later had the primary assist on Hyman’s third period goal. Rielly leads NHL defencemen in even-strength points (17-34-51). He has nine assists in four games against the Panthers in 2018-19. Tonight’s game is his eighth multi-assist and 17th multi-point game of the season.

–       Frederik Andersen stopped 31 shots to earn the victory.

SHOTS ON GOAL (5-on-5 in brackets)

 

1st

2nd

3rd

OT

TOTAL

FLORIDA

9 (8)

12 (10)

15 (13)

36 (31)

TORONTO

15 (14)

13 (9)

9 (8)

37 (31)

 

SHOT ATTEMPTS (5-on-5 in brackets)

 

 

1st

2nd

3rd

OT

TOTAL

FLORIDA

20 (19)

21 (17)

30 (23)

71 (59)

TORONTO

24 (22)

26 (18)

14 (13)

64 (53)

 

NO PLACE LIKE HOME

 

–       The Maple Leafs are 23-14-2 at home this season.

–       Toronto’s all-time record is 43-33-7-5 in 88 games against the Panthers and 25-15-2-1 in 43 games played in Toronto.

–       Toronto is 27-15-4 against the Eastern Conference this season and 14-8-3 against the Atlantic Division.

–       Tonight’s attendance is 19,125.

MAPLE LEAFS LEADERS

Shots

5 (Kadri, Tavares)

Shot Attempts

9 (Muzzin)

Faceoff Wins

12 (Tavares)

Faceoff Win Percentage

67% (Nylander – 4 won, 2 lost)

Hits

4 (Tavares, Zaitsev)

Blocked Shots

3 (Johnsson, Muzzin)

Takeaways

2 (Kapanen, Marleau, Nylander)

TOI

23:58 (Zaitsev)

Power Play TOI

2:33 (Rielly)

Shorthanded TOI

5:07 (Zaitsev)

Shifts

36 (Zaitsev)

5-on-5 Shot Attempt Percentage

60.6% (Kapanen – 20 for, 13 against)

 

 

RECORD WHEN…

–       The Maple Leafs were 1-for-3 on the penalty kill and 1-for-3 on the power play tonight. Toronto is 3-1-1 when allowing multiple power play goals this season and 14-7-0 when scoring one power play goal.

–       Toronto is 30-6-2 when scoring the first goal of the game.

–       The Maple Leafs are 24-2-0 when leading after one period and 35-0-1 when leading after two periods.

–          Toronto is 19-12-1 when outshooting their opponent.

–          The Maple Leafs are 7-3-0 in Monday games.

OF NOTE…

 

–          The Maple Leafs’ four first period goals tied their season-high for goals in a period (4 – 7x).

–          Martin Marincin started 14.3 percent of his 5-on-5 shifts in the offensive zone, which was the lowest percentage among Toronto skaters.

–          Jake Muzzin was on the ice for a team-high in Toronto shot attempts-for at 5-on-5 (28). Muzzin had a 5-on-5 shot attempt percentage of 57.1 percent (28 for, 21 against).

–          John Tavares won 67 percent (6 won, 3 lost) of his offensive zone faceoffs tonight and was 10-for-14 (71%) on the draw when matched up with Florida centre Vincent Trocheck.

 

UPCOMING GAMES:

–       Wednesday, March 27, 7:00 p.m. at Philadelphia Flyers (Sportsnet, FAN 590)

–       Saturday, March 30, 7:00 p.m. at Ottawa Senators (Hockey Night in Canada, TSN 1050)

–       Monday, April 1, 7:00 p.m. at New York Islanders (Sportsnet Ontario, TSN 1050)

–       Tuesday, April 2, 7:30 p.m. vs. Carolina Hurricanes (TSN4, TSN 1050)

–       Thursday, April 4, 7:00 p.m. vs. Tampa Bay Lightning (TSN4, TSN 1050)

 

POSTGAME QUOTES:

HEAD COACH MIKE BABCOCK

On tonight as a vintage John Tavares performance:

Yeah, I don’t think we got that tonight. We’ve been able to watch and see the kind of human being he is. How focused he is about doing his business and, whether he plays good or bad, he just plays, he comes and does his thing professionally. He takes the same professional approach the next day so he’s a real good leader for us and obviously, he makes us a deeper team. We gave [Matthews] the assignment on Barkov tonight, normally we’d give it to John, so that freed up John and he had a good night offensively. I thought Matthews’ line was outstanding, I thought it was [Nylander’s] best game of the year.

On how big it was for Marleau to get his goal tonight:

It’s real important. He had a breakaway as well. Just in general, it’s good to come out and score. I thought we had lots of guys going tonight. A good night for it.

On the importance of players chasing personal milestones:

I think it’s a huge thing and I try to be cognizant of it. Hyman got his 20th here tonight, Patty Marleau now, I think he’s – I don’t know what number – he’s doing something good and moving up the list. I think those guys – playoff time for guys like Patty is like the fountain of youth. He’ll just get better and more energized as we go. 

On if he’s concerned that Marleau’s goals are down from last season:

Not really. I’ve seen lots of these guys where they’re not very good in the regular season sometimes, but their time is coming.

On what he liked about the performance of Johnsson-Matthews-Nylander tonight:

They were above the puck, they were really good, really good, staying dialed in right from the start to the finish. All three of them – Muzzin and [Zaitsev] and those three did an unreal job. For me, by far, that’s the most positive sign we’ve had in a long time because that gives you a chance knowing that John [Tavares] or him can play against anybody.

On giving that line the matchup role to challenge them:

Yeah, that’s why we went with this one. We knew we were going to do this a couple of times down the stretch. We just told them this morning this was their job and to look after it. It’s nice it worked out.

On the score narrowing in the third period:

The puck has got to stay out of your net. We’ve got to help Freddie out. For you to help yourself, you’ve got to get the puck.

ZACH HYMAN (1 GOAL, 2 ASSISTS)

On reaching the 20-goal mark:

It’s always nice when you hit milestones in wins. It makes everybody feel better and that’s why you play. Twenty goals is a big milestone for me for sure but, you know, just keep going.

On what impresses him about John Tavares:

Just the way he brings it every day. He’s so detail-oriented. When I first met him, just seeing how long he prepares before he goes out on the ice and all those little things add up to form John. He wants to play in the League a long time and he takes care of his body. It’s nice to see him have a big night.

MITCH MARNER (3 ASSISTS)

On if he is surprised with Tavares’ contributions this season and his four-goal game tonight:

Not really, I mean, going into the summer we knew the kind of player he was, what he could bring to this team. He’s had a great season for us so far and it’s been a lot of fun playing with him. Hopefully it goes on for a while longer.

On Tavares’ ability to put himself in scoring position:

A couple of those plays, right off the pad. Johnny knows where to go, he’s smart, he’s played for a long time and knows where to score the goals and he’s done a great job of finding his way to the net and getting open and putting those in.

MORGAN RIELLY (2 ASSISTS)

On tonight’s game:

I think we’re starting to play better. When you have a big first period like that, it helps. That being said, I think there’s always areas that you can clean up, but it’s important that we keep the momentum going and it’s nice to win a couple.

On reaching the 50-assist mark:

It’s good. It speaks about my teammates more than anything, they’re the ones scoring. It is what it is but we’ve got a few more games left, it’s important we stay focused and try to keep the good play rolling.

JOHN TAVARES (4 GOALS)

On the importance of Marleau’s opening goal:

Yeah and I think just to get a big goal early, we’ve had some better starts but we really haven’t put any production on the board for it. Nice to get one early and get the start that we did and great for Patty too, it was a hell of shot, great pass by [Kadri], big goal to start us off.  Just kept rolling from there, obviously, late in the game we’ve got to tighten up. I think we got a couple tough calls against but, in saying that, we’ve obviously got to finish the job right until the end.

On his four-goal performance:

Yeah, just trying to play my game and obviously, with the players I’m playing with, Mitch and Hyman, and the type of team we have, they make so many plays and you just try to get yourself available. Obviously, being around the net on the power play a lot, just trying to get myself in good spots to find loose change and kind of get lost and read off those other guys when pucks are getting to the net or when to slide off and get available. Continue to work and get above the puck and earn our chances that way. It’s obviously nice to get rewarded like that, it’s always a good feeling, but, you know, I think we still feel we can be a little better with some of the opportunities we gave up and eventually went in our net. All in all, obviously, I think mostly it was a good night and we’ll build on the good stuff.

 

 

 

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