TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS GAME REPORT- March 6th, 2020
BarnBurner Sports Writer
Friday, March 6, 2020
Quick And Andersen Both Record Shutouts, But Quick Earns Victory As The Kings Defeat The Leafs 1-0 In A Shootout
Jonathan Quick’s shutout performance led the Los Angeles Kings to 1-0 shootout victory over the Maple Leafs on Thursday night at the Staples Centre.
Toronto (35-24-9) and Los Angeles (26-35-6) played a low-scoring, uneventful game, that saw both goaltenders remain perfect.
Quick made 30 saves, plus stopping three Toronto shooters in the shootout.
Adrian Kempe and Anze Kopitar scored in the shootout for the Kings, with Kempe getting credit for the winner.
William Nylander was the lone scorer for Toronto in the shootout.
The game was sent to a shootout after both teams failed to find the scoresheet through three periods, plus overtime.
In an act of desperation to get on the score sheet and walk out of Staples Centre with a victory, Toronto pressed hard in the final five minutes of the game, with most of the action being seen in the Los Angeles zone--but to no avail, Quick remained perfect.
John Tavares' hooking penalty on Alex Iafallo 31 seconds into overtime gave the Kings an opportunity with a four on three advantage to end the game. Instead, LA only struck one shot on goal without any result.
After the Maple Leafs killed off the penalty, overtime continued with both goaltenders making outstanding saves, both well deserving of the shutouts they eventually earned. Quick stopped Nylander yet again on a breakaway, and Andersen looked as good as any time he has this season.
Frederik Andersen returned to the net, after being given the night off by Sheldon Keefe Tuesday. If the result of the shootout was reversed, Andersen would be the primary story. He was just as good as his counterpart Quick, and became the main story for the Maple Leafs as the game progressed.
The Maple Leafs entered Thursday winning three of its last four, coming off a 5-2 loss to San Jose Tuesday, snapping its three-game win-streak.
Despite entering the game winning three in a row, the Kings hold four a point cushion on the Ducks for having the right to call themselves the Western Conference’s worst team.
The first period saw Toronto only take five shots on Quick, as well as giving the 23rd ranked LA power play a chance to go to work twice.
Thursday night’s game in Los Angeles was not a repeat of Saturday night against Vancouver, when the Maple Leafs allowed a goal on the first shot struck on goal by the opposition. Instead, Andersen had a good start to his night, a sight not seen lately by the Toronto netminder. Prior to Thursday, Andersen has allowed five goals in the last two first periods he has played.
The Maple Leafs controlled the game throughout the second frame, showing signs of life in the offensive zone and shooting the puck 14 times. Even though the game remained scoreless, the Maple Leafs left the ice at the end of the second period with much more to be proud of after an uneventful first period.
Despite seeing its first great scoring opportunities more than half way through the game, the lowly Kings were in tough to control possession for long stretches of time in the second period, and faced a steady Andersen in the Toronto net.
The best scoring chance of the game for either team came 1:13 into the third period, when John Tavares’ stretch pass set William Nylander up on a breakaway. Nylander could not capitalize on the breakaway, and after being slashed on the play by Kempe, the Leafs could not capitalize on the ensuing power play.
It became clear once the third period progressed that the story of the game would be the goaltenders, and in particular the performance of Quick. The Maple Leafs and Kings turned the game into an affair that would surely see the first team to score--win.
Even though he lost the game in the shootout, Andersen earned the shutout along with his counterpart Quick.
The Maple Leafs earned a critical point in the loss, especially considering that earlier in the night, the Panthers earned a single point as well, losing in overtime to the Bruins. The Panthers now sit five points back of the Maple Leafs for the final playoff spot in the Atlantic Division.
Andersen recorded his third shutout of the season, making 36 saves.
Toronto will be back in action Friday night, as they drive down the road from LA to visit Anaheim to play the Ducks.