By no means a uninteresting second, it appears, within the Battle of Ontario.
And overlook that the Ottawa Senators, barring a late-season cost and a collapse by a handful of groups forward of them within the Jap Convention standings, received’t make the playoffs.
You are reading: KOSHAN’S LEAFS TAKEAWAYS: Matt Murray shines on busy night, Calle Jarnkrok clicks with Auston Matthews
The Maple Leafs and Senators gave their respective fan bases one other juicy chapter on Saturday night time in Ottawa, with the Leafs rising the victors in a 5-4 resolution in a shootout.
The shootout felt prefer it may go on ceaselessly, and it nearly did. Not till the ninth spherical was it determined, when Alex Kerfoot, who has not scored in 24 video games, slipped the puck alongside the ice between the legs of goalie Mads Sogaard. Instantly earlier than, Matt Murray, the Leafs’ hero on the night time, denied Jakob Chychrun.
It was Murray’s first sport in Ottawa because the Leafs acquired him from the Sens in a commerce final summer season, and the veteran netminder turned in considered one of his finest performances of the season.
The Leafs, drained as they could have been after beating Carolina at residence on Friday night time, improved to 7-3-1 within the second sport of back-to-back units. Being good and having depth helps result in that type of file.
Sure, the 52 photographs on aim by the Sens had been probably the most the Leafs have allowed in a sport this season, by fairly a bit. The earlier excessive towards Toronto was 44, achieved twice. In the long run, it amounted to at least one level for an Ottawa group that’s going to be good, however isn’t there but.
The Leafs received’t be utilizing a ton of video from this one in the event that they’re stressing positives. A two-goal lead disappeared within the third interval when Ottawa captain Brady Tkachuk scored twice, together with the tying aim with 11 seconds remaining and the Sens having fun with a two-man benefit with Sogaard pulled and TJ Brodie within the field from a last-minute tripping penalty.
What’s going to matter most, because the gamers get pleasure from a time off on Sunday, is the 2 factors gained.
Some takeaways from the Leafs’ forty second win of 2022-23:
Should you’d informed Murray earlier than the sport that he would permit 4 targets in his sixth consecutive look, his shoulders may need slumped in despair.
That’s what transpired, but Murray had each motive to face tall afterward.
We’re unsure why there stays the query as as to whether it will likely be Ilya Samsonov or Murray because the Recreation 1 starter within the playoffs. One of many goalies — that might be Samsonov — has been sharp and regular for a lot of the season. The opposite — Murray — has spent greater than his justifiable share of time injured and now must be most involved with getting his sport constantly to a very good place.
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Samsonov has earned the precise to be the goalie to begin within the post-season. It’s that easy. The important thing now could be for Samsonov to get himself correctly ready for the Lightning.
It’s essential, nonetheless, that Murray get right into a rhythm, and he went additional down that path on Saturday. The Leafs wish to know he may be dependable if he’s wanted within the post-season.
With 48 saves by means of 65 minutes and 6 within the shootout, Murray did his full half to assist the Leafs earn two factors. His largest got here on Tim Stutzle in extra time, when Murray made a pad save after the Sens foward broke in alone.
The 48 saves had been the second-most Murray has made in a single NHL sport. Taking part in for Pittsburgh on Feb. 11, 2019 in Philadelphia, he made 50 saves in a Penguins win.
JARNKROK BRINGS IT
If coach Sheldon Keefe decides to make use of Ryan O’Reilly, as soon as the veteran centre returns from a damaged finger, as the person within the center on the third line, that leaves a spot open within the high six.
It’s there for Calle Jarnkrok to say, if he hasn’t already.
Jarnkrok confirmed extra of his offensive aptitude on Saturday, scoring two targets, bringing him to a career-high 17.
There’s some apparent chemistry with Auston Matthews, one thing that has eluded Kerfoot when he has had the possibilities to skate with the Leafs’ No. 1 centre.
Within the second interval, Jarnkrok discovered open ice and was fed by Matthews earlier than beating Sogaard with a one-timer.
Within the third, Jarnkrok went excessive glove after driving to the online and taking a move from Matthews.
Each had been goal-scorer’s targets, if you’ll.
If Keefe winds up utilizing Michael Bunting alongside Matthews and Mitch Marner, that’s all good and accurately. Jarnkrok, we’re seeing, has the chops to take top-six minutes and would even be a effective complement alongside John Tavares and William Nylander.
That’s, as we mentioned, if O’Reilly is the third-line centre. If O’Reilly is on the second line and Tavares is moved to the wing, then Jarnkrok slides to the third line. That possibility is enticing as nicely and brings an offensive punch to the underside six.
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Fingers crossed, after all, for those who’re the Leafs and hope there aren’t any additional accidents to the forwards.
LINE ’EM UP
Keefe went with a extra frequent break up of 12 forwards and 6 defencemen after utilizing 11 and 7 for a number of video games.
The coach gave veteran Mark Giordano, who had performed in the entire Leafs’ 68 earlier video games, a well-deserved night time off and likewise rested fellow defenceman Erik Gustafsson. Inserted was Justin Holl, who sat the night time earlier than towards the Hurricanes.
Ahead Noel Acciari didn’t make the journey after the Hurricanes’ Jesse Puljujarvi collided with him within the first interval 24 hours earlier, however Keefe indicated that Acciari didn’t endure a concussion.
Wayne Simmonds performed for the primary time since Feb. 1 and although he had a team-low six minutes 44 seconds of ice time, tied for the Leafs lead with three hits.
Bobby McMann, recalled from the Toronto Marlies, acquired one other look and had one shot on aim in seven minutes.
Samsonov stayed again in Toronto to relaxation some bumps and be together with his spouse, who is because of give delivery.
Goalie Joseph Woll, additionally summoned from the minors, backed up Murray.
THEY SAID IT
“Marathon of a sport. Tremendous-exciting sport to be part of, numerous emotion on the market. A whole lot of power within the constructing. Good to get that further level. It was a enjoyable one to be part of. You attempt to maintain the fort so long as you possibly can (within the shootout). By the tip of it, I stored my head down. When Kerf put that in, I wasn’t watching. It ended up figuring out.” — Murray on the night time as a complete
“He was a brick wall, he was so strong. Got here up with huge saves for us, which was large. Simply stored taking part in. He doesn’t get rattled in there, simply on to the subsequent shot, on to the subsequent play. He stored us within the sport.” — Matthews on Murray’s efficiency
“Again to again, a determined group on the opposite aspect on the highway. To get 4 factors out of 4 (Friday and Saturday) is sweet for our group.” — Keefe on two wins in two nights