The Leafs finally found some urgency in Toronto
BarnBurner Sports Writer
Thursday, February 20, 2020
Final Score, Toronto Maple Leafs 4 - Pittsburgh Penguins 0
Toronto, ON - After multiple losses and Head Coach Sheldon Keefe calling out the Leafs publicly, Toronto finally woke up and dominated the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-0 at home. Frederik Anderson looked back to his allstar form with a 24 save shutout, his first win since returning from injury. The Leafs are back in third in the Atlantic division as the Florida Panthers don't play until later tonight. Matt Murray made 26 stops for Pittsburgh in their most lopsided loss of the season.
Denis Malgin was on a line with John Tavares and William Nylander. He looked solid in his first game but did take a penalty in the first period. Luckily it didn’t cost the blue and white.
An improvement compared to the last time these teams met on Tuesday with an even 0-0 after the first period. Pitsburgh led in shots 14-10, and hits 9-4 in the first 20 minutes of the contest.
The Leafs pushed in front at 7:45 of the second when Jake Muzzin’s point shot pinged off the post and in. Maglin helped out with a nice screen in front of Murray. The defenceman’s fifth goal of the season.
Toronto got a 5-on-3 power play for halfway through the second period. Tavares won the draw and Auston Matthews found Nylander. He slowly lineup the shot fomr the rigth circle before beating Murray 5-hole for his 27th goal of the year.
The Leafs were controlling the puck and not letting up, something they had been sorely lacking in their last few games.
It paid off with another one.
Kapanen then made it 3-0 with his 12th at 13:04 when he was sprung by Alexander Kerfoot and ripped it by Murray’s blocker.
Penguins Patric Hornqvist took a couple of runs at rookie defenceman Rasmus Sandin late in the second. Kapanen got a cross-check before fighting Jared McCann. The Penguins captain Sidney Crosby and Leafs captain John Tavares exchanged words after Andersen was hit in his net.
Murray was sharp on a Kerfoot redirection as Toronto provided an improved forecheck following those dismal road performances.
The second ended 3-0 Leafs. They dominated outshooting the Pens 12-7.
Hyman got another early in the third when tapped in a rebound off a deflection. His 19th of the year. The Penguins had just ten shots after the first 20 minutes, including an abysmal three in the final period. Anderson had his 2nd shutout of the year and 18th of his career.
Next up, The Carolina Hurricanes come to town on Saturday, February 22nd. A very important game as the Canes are fighting the Leafs for a wildcard spot.