Late surge sends Maple Leafs past Pens, into playoffs
17:47, Apr 21, 2017
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The Maple Leafs are appearing in the postseason for the first time since 2012-13 and second time since 2003-04. He doesn't want them overwhelmed by the challenge of beating the Stanley Cup defending champion Penguins or the Blue Jackets. On the other hand, if the Leafs get beat in rego by Columbus, the Bruins hold the tie-breaker over them and they'll be flying to DC.
Auston Matthews, meanwhile, with his 40th goal on Saturday, became the fourth player in National Hockey League history to score 40 in a season before his 20th birthday. The spotlight will be brighter in the playoffs, but he has responded to every challenge so far.
The Stanley Cup tournament will begin on Wednesday with the schedule to be announced on Sunday, the last day of the National Hockey League's regular season.
Fans of the NY Mets know that Matt Harvey, had a rough season a year ago, but he had a good reason.
Luckily for fans, they won't have to wait much longer to find out exactly which team that will be. The game isn't just important to the Maple Leafs, there are a number of scenarios that can adjust seeding and more. Andersen's play hasn't been too strong as of late, which may lead to a goaltending problem for Babcock if things go south quickly against the high-powered Capitals.
At 7:34 during a Lightning power-play with defenseman Roman Polack off for a minor interference penalty, centerman Brayden Point buried a wrist shot from inside the circle for his 15th goal of the season assisted by left winger Ondrej Palat and defenseman Victor Hedman.
The Jackets are winless in their last four road games and 7-2 in their last nine Sunday games while the Leafs are 4-1 in their last five against the Metro and 7-3 in their last 10 overall.
"We're going to try to win the game", he said. They have all had these opportunities at different levels, just not at this level.
In the final four games of their regular season, the Maple Leafs had earned the right to control their playoff fate. The outcome of the Leafs' last game decides something. Fehr is sidelined with an undisclosed injury.
"They're not going to believe me and then it's going to happen", he said.
- Alex Ovechkin and the old-gun Capitals play Game 1 against Auston Matthews and the young-gun Maple Leafs on Thursday in Washington. It led to a scoring chance for Leafs rookie Auston Matthews, but Fleury was able to scramble back in enough time to make the save. The Leafs, however, never did have the consistent energy that Babcock thought he would see, and Columbus reeled off three goals by the end of the second, getting the victor from Cam Atkinson while shorthanded.
The Air Canada Centre crowd wanted to go home celebrating a playoff spot.
Andersen's status for the start of those playoffs comes into question if he can't go against the Jackets and his potential absence would be crippling to the Leafs.
With the 4-1 victory, the Lightning split the season series with the Leafs but more importantly kept their 2017 playoff hope alive and well.
A Leafs OT or shootout loss will send the Bruins to Washington.
But they didn't, blowing a two-goal lead in the second period and finishing in the Eastern Conference's second wild card spot, pitted against the President's Trophy-winning Capitals in a series set to open in Washington on Thursday. They're going to be playing their hardest tonight, whereas we might be trying to refuel for the playoffs.