Pressure on Maple Leafs in final weekend of National Hockey League season

Goalie Frederik Andersen may be outmatched by Holtby, but he has shown he can steal a game or two for Toronto. I mean he's got a really good wrist shot. He returned for one shift in the second period before exiting the game for good.

"We made it way harder than we should", Babcock said of Thursday's effort, as both injury-mauled Tampa and the New York Islanders closed to within three points for what's now the last undecided playoff spot in the NHL's two conferences.

No one usually recognizes Jake Gardiner on his walk home from the Air Canada Centre, but that changed Saturday evening after the Maple Leafs clinched their second playoff berth in the last 13 years. Ottawa Senators' Derick Brassard (19) celebrates his goal against the New York Rangers with teammates Alexandre Burrows (14) and Mark Borowiecki (74) during the second period of an NHL hockey game in Ottawa o.

- Connor Brown scored his 20th goal of the season and the eventual victor less than three minutes later.

"It's fun to talk about the kids because everyone thinks they are going to get better, but we wouldn't be here without good veterans leading the way", Babcock said.

He's also among the few Leafs to play in the post-season previously, including a year ago when he posted a.947 save percentage in five starts for Anaheim. We have to stay more composed. "We've got two years left before that happens". That reality looks less likely following the recall of Sparks, who would presumably back up Curtis McElhinney against the Jackets if Andersen can't go. "And if not, they still get a lot of experience".

"I was happy to get back. I think he's a real good player and a real good man and has a chance to be a special player".

"The path of least resistance is something to shoot for", said Maple Leafs defenseman Connor Carrick after the game Tuesday.

Then two Isles wins still does it, as long as one is in regulation.unless the Lightning win their game against the Sabres.

And, for that matter, the exciting young players across the National Hockey League. "They're a risky team".

"I think it is a way different thing for our team", Babcock said.

After Phil Kessel scored the 1-0 goal in the first period, "the kid traded for Kessel" - Kasperi Kapanen - answered with the 3-3 tally in the third, his first career National Hockey League goal (and what a pass by Matt Hunwick!). "We know how to play ands we know how to win".

James van Riemsdyk tied it for the Maple Leafs only 29 seconds later - in the middle of the announcement for Kessel's goal - with some ridiculous eye-hand coordination. Van Riemsdyk's wrap-around attempt was a couple inches from sneaking past Fleury.

Toronto's William Nylander hit a goal post nearing the midpoint of the first. The goal gave Tampa Bay a 3-1 lead early in the third period.

Bozak gave Toronto a 2-1 lead at 3:30 while Sestito was serving a goaltender-interference minor after he knocked Andersen to the ice. Tyler Bozak has quietly put up a 55 point season. All these guys and others are enough to effectively stop this Toronto team from getting the W. Let's play our game and steal the win. Sidney Crosby is set to be in the lineup for the Penguins on Saturday night at Toronto.

Evgeni Malkin will remain out with injury as will Olli Maatta and Carl Hagelin. RW Patric Hornqvist, C Nick Bonino, LW Chris Kunitz, RW Bryan Rust, D Brian Dumoulin and G Matt Murray also did not dress for Pittsburgh.


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