TORONTO 3, COLUMBUS 0: What the Leafs said:

SHELDON KEEFE

Q. (Chris Johnston, Sportsnet): I’m wondering if you could tell us if Jake was taken to hospital and if you have any update on his condition yet? 

SHELDON KEEFE: Yeah, he was taken to hospital. I’m told he’s responsive and all of that. Just awaiting his assessment. 

Q. (Josh Clipperton, The Canadian Press): Just wondering what the difference was today. You guys were able to generate a lot more. What was the difference from game one? 

SHELDON KEEFE: Every game is going to be slightly different, it’s going to have its own personality. Today I thought we forechecked really hard right from the start of the game and some loose pucks became available, gave us an extra opportunity to attack the net. That was a really good sign for us but our guys brought it to another level today from a competitive standpoint and that really helped us in all regards.

Q. (Terry Koshan, Toronto Sun): What was happening in the defensive zone that really negated the forecheck that Columbus had in game one? What were you guys doing a lot better today? 

SHELDON KEEFE: Well we were doing a better job up ice in their half of the ice. As a result, most of the time when it entered our half of the ice they were in line changes and not forechecking as a full unit. That makes it a lot easier for us. That’s obviously every team’s goal going into a game and today worked out for us there. 

Q. (Kevin McGran, Toronto Star): I guess if Jake Muzzin is going to hospital he’s out of the bubble and can’t come back even if he could. What will you have to do without him? What will losing him mean to this team?

SHELDON KEEFE: I’m not really certain on exactly what the protocol is for this situation. There are protocols in place for these types of situations and I’m not exactly certain what the details are. Our focus is and always will be just on his well-being and making sure he’s okay.

Q. (Mark Masters, TSN): Was there any frustration with the fact Korpisalo seemed locked in and you’re getting the chances and you couldn’t find the back of the net? How do you feel the group handled that?

SHELDON KEEFE: I think we handled it well. It was on my mind, of course, just making sure that we stayed with it. I just kept monitoring our bench and monitoring our players’ mannerisms and how they were coming back to the bench. You see guys talking to themselves and I think we were just focused, focused on what we had to do on the ice and staying with it. So that was really good to see. It was not unlike what happened in game one in terms of us just staying with it, but obviously we were generating more today so there was a little bit more happening in and around the net. The goalie was a big difference for them but I really liked how our guys just took a drink of water and got ready for the next shift and stayed with it and believed in what we were doing.

Q. (Ken Campbell, The Hockey News): Mitch [Marner] just said that on the Muzzin play when you guys asked the official what had happened, he said that he was crosschecked. If that’s the case, do you wonder why they don’t call that more in the NHL? It seems like the crosscheck goes so uncalled and that might have been a reason why something like this could have happened. 

SHELDON KEEFE: I think the refs are out there doing their best, doing their job and I’ve got to focus on doing my job, which is preparing our team and keeping us ready to go and that moment there was about keeping us focused. A lot of things happen in the game and it’s our job to just play through it. 

Q. (Sean Farrell, NHL.com): What has Fred [Andersen’s] play through the first two games meant to the team? 

SHELDON KEEFE: It means a great deal. Obviously, goaltender is very important. You’re seeing it on the other side as well with Columbus. He gives us belief in what we’re doing and if we crack, he’s going to be there for us. It’s two excellent games by him here now. Today when we did crack and they had a little bit of a look or a little bit of a push, he was there. He gives our guys even more life and energy.

AUSTON MATTHEWS AND JOHN TAVARES

Q. (Josh Clipperton, The Canadian Press): What’s it like, the feeling of being two minutes away from the win and then seeing a teammate go down like that and just the quietness of the building? 

JOHN TAVARES: No question, seeing one of your teammates go down, especially a guy like Muzz, you know the type of warrior he is. I think what he brings to our team is unmeasurable. Obviously, very tough. All signs are very positive being around him and nice to close it out for him, but certainly tough to see, especially how much we love that guy. 

Q. (Terry Koshan, Toronto Sun): Auston, could I get your thoughts on the goal that you scored and what you were feeling after Korpisalo had stopped the first 55 shots he saw in games one and two? 

AUSTON MATTHEWS: Yeah, obviously excitement. It’s postseason, everything is tight out there and goals are hard to come by. It was nice to get that one and kind of jump start a nice push. I thought we played pretty well in the first period and second period and I think we just tried to stick with it. [Hyman] made a great play and I just tried to deflect it towards the net and it just happened to go in.

Q. (Rosie DiManno, Toronto Star): Question for John, earlier on in the first and second period, there were times when you were shaking your head during the power play and casting eyes to the ceiling in disbelief. Can you just contrast that with the celebration on your goal? 

JOHN TAVARES: He made some great saves. I thought there was a couple that were deflected and were a little bit more fortunate on his side, but he’s obviously playing really well, he’s a really good goalie. You want to see those go in. I just tried to focus on the next shift, next opportunity. On the goal they really were aggressive and I think both D kind of jumped in and I was our last forward coming back and I kind of saw the play getting broken up so as I saw that, I just kind of anticipate that puck might be coming the other way so I was able to get a good bead on it and lucky enough to get that opportunity and nice to finish it off, especially after some of the chances I had. 

Q. (Chris Johnston, Sportsnet): Auston, I’m wondering what the biggest factor was for the team in being able to create so many good looks in this versus the first one?  

AUSTON MATTHEWS: I think both games, to be honest, we had some pretty good looks, probably more so tonight. I think just upping our compete level, getting to the net, dirty areas and trying to get on the inside where we can beat guys to the net. I thought we came out with a strong push to start the game and I think just the communication factor was there tonight for us and just full effort throughout the lineup. 

Q. (Mark Masters, TSN): John, what allowed you guys to do a better job generating chances off the rush considering how well Columbus usually does against that? 

JOHN TAVARES: I think we were just quicker tonight and that’s not just necessarily the way we’re moving our feet but I think just our execution and the way we moved the puck. I thought D did a great job of just handling their forecheck, which they do really well, and then I think as forwards we were just in sync reading off each other and doing good job of, when we had to, getting pucks in behind and getting on the inside and first on those races that allowed us to then set up the next couple of plays to break them down and create some opportunities, some more possessions. Obviously, it was a positive tonight for us, it’s something we have to continue, especially when you expect them to make some adjustments. I like the way we were just in sync and connected today.

Q. (Marty Klinkenberg, The Globe and Mail): In a game like this where you very much dominated but still it’s late in the second and it’s 0-0, does it start to get more tense as you’re playing? 

JOHN TAVARES: Certainly those thoughts can creep in, but I think as a team when we’re playing like that I think we have so much belief in each other. I think the type of team we have that eventually it’s going to pay off, we’re going to find a way to break through. Don’t get discouraged and stick with it, we’re playing, we’re doing the things we want to do, we’re creating opportunities. Just sticking with it and not getting discouraged, like I said, just kind of staying one shift at a time. A little cliche but you’re just kind of staying in the moment, waiting for the next opportunity. Great play by [Matthews] to break the ice for us. It was a big goal and something he always does for us. As a team we just kind of fed off one another and he led the way. 

FREDERIK ANDERSEN AND MITCH MARNER

Q (Kevin McGran, Toronto Star): Your thoughts on seeing Jake Muzzin go down. He’s been such a warrior for you guys and so close to the end of the game too. What’s going through your head when you’re seeing him lying there in injury and being taken off on a stretcher? 

FREDERIK ANDERSEN: Yeah it’s difficult. Seeing a guy like Jake that everyone cares about, he’s well loved in the locker room. Being as tough as he is it’s really hard to see him being told to lay down and not move. We’re really just thinking about him and making sure all the right steps are being taken and hopefully he recovers soon. 

MITCH MARNER: Yeah, just like Freddie said, he’s a big part of this team, penalty kill, even-strength against the best players against the other teams. He really does mean a lot to us. Being beside him there when he went down and stayed down, obviously it’s a little worrisome and to see the stretcher come out, a lot of things running through your mind. Like Freddie said we’re all on his side, we’re all praying for him and just want to make sure when he does come back he’s 100 percent. There are a lot bigger things than hockey.

Q (Josh Clipperton, Canadian Press): For Freddie, what are you thinking when you’re seeing the guy at the other stop shot after shot? I think it was the 55th or 56th shot that they finally found a way through. What’s your mindset when you see the other guy doing that? 

FREDERIK ANDERSEN: Just keep doing what I’m doing. What happens in their end is useless to think about. Just keep doing what I can do and be ready for when they do come. They’re putting a hell of a pressure on him and both games I think we’ve had the puck a lot and obviously been playing well, but I think we did a better job of getting in and getting second chances and having confidence in guys being able to score. 

Q. (Jonas Siegel, The Athletic): Mitch, you were right there with Jake. When did you realize something wasn’t right? 

MITCH MARNER: I just remember clearing the puck, I remember kind of turning over and seeing him on the ground. Kind of saw him get up on all fours. At this time I think the puck just exit, I was still kind of standing beside him and then I realized after drawing up to the blueline to try and stop them from entering, they dumped it in and hit the ref. At that point he was back down, full lying down. I just kind of skated over to him, I just asked him if he was okay. Obviously, he just kind of said, just give him a second and a couple of other things that doesn’t matter, it’ll stay between us. Like I said, we just want to make sure all the right things are happening to make sure he’s back to being 100 percent. He’s a big part of this team. Hopefully he recovers quickly. Like I said, there’s a lot bigger things than hockey, especially outside this world and his family is a major priority. You’ve got to make sure you’re able to still play with your kids. 

Q. (Mark Masters, TSN): What was it like reuniting with Auston and how did you feel your game grew in today’s game versus game one? 

MITCH MARNER: For myself I think I was just a lot more competitive with the puck, on the puck, a lot more dialed into my battles and being better consistently all over the ice. I think we worked the puck nicely around, we were using our speed, something we’re going to have to just keep doing and keep using our speed coming through the middle and supporting each other. The chemistry kind of just kicked right back with [Hyman] as well and we were making plays, we’ve just got to find ways to get around these guys trying to block our shots. 

Q. (Ken Campbell, The Hockey News): Mitch, I just wanted to ask you as a forward out there who’s in the thick of the battle, that hit on Jake Muzzin was a crosscheck from behind. It was a fairly innocuous one but still a crosscheck from behind that seems to go uncalled almost all the time in this league now. Do you think the League has to do more about crosschecking now? A couple of years ago it was the casual slash and now they’re cracking down on that. Do you think they need to crack down on the crosscheck? 

MITCH MARNER: It’s hard for me to say at this moment. I was beside [Muzzin] when the play happened and I was turning and shooting it while he was coming down so I haven’t seen the actual play yet. I think the player’s off two to three feet from the boards and a crosscheck does happen, usually it doesn’t matter how good you are on your feet, there’s a possible chance of you going head first into the boards. It’s always a scary incident. Like I said, I have not seen that play yet, reviewed or on my phone or anything like that, but we were asking the refs and their response was just he got pushed, he got crosschecked, he hit one other player and that’s how it all happened. I think usually when a player is two or three feet from the wall, that’s when the dangerous stuff happens and the injuries come in part. Like I said, I haven’t seen it, we’ll leave it to the League to discuss what they think is necessary. 

COLUMBUS 2, TORONTO 0: WHAT THE LEAFS SAID: “Obviously, they did what they do best and what we were prepared for. We knew it was going to be difficult. Now we go out on the ice and you feel it. Obviously, we didn’t get one to fall for us here today. I thought we did have some chances to get more than what we got on the scoreboard, but it didn’t fall in for us, it fell in for them. That’s the difference.”

SHELDON KEEFE

Q. (Lance Hornby, Toronto Sun): Sheldon, how concerned were you about your offence tonight or was it just a case of Columbus doing what it does best? 

SHELDON KEEFE: I think it’s both. Obviously, they did what they do best and what we were prepared for. We knew it was going to be difficult. Now we go out on the ice and you feel it. Obviously, we didn’t get one to fall for us here today. I thought we did have some chances to get more than what we got on the scoreboard, but it didn’t fall in for us, it fell in for them. That’s the difference. 

Q. (Steve Simmons, Toronto Sun): How difficult is it when you’re putting Auston out there as much as possible and they’re matching with Jones as much as possible and there you have two of the great players in the NHL going up against each other? 

SHELDON KEEFE: It’s a tough matchup. We can’t forget Werenski in that equation also because he’s a great player, and their forwards. They play as a group of five so no matter who is on the ice it’s going to be hard. This is all stuff that we were prepared for coming in. As I said, now we’re on the ice and you feel it. We didn’t generate as much as I wish we could have. At the same, as I said, it’s a very tight hockey game out there. One falls in for them early in the third period after we had what I thought was a pretty dominant start to the third and thought we were going to be rolling pretty good. All of a sudden, you’re down and it changes the nature of the game from there. Obviously we’ve got to find a way to score.

Q. (Bruce Arthur, Toronto Star): This obviously was the team you expected, the game you expected. Is there anything about this game that makes you worry about the way your team matches up against Columbus going forward or could you see places where the Leafs can handle this matchup better? 

SHELDON KEEFE: Well, I think there’s going to be ways. We’re going to look closer at it and we’ll find ways that we can capitalize a little bit more on some of our opportunities and generate a little bit more. As I said, it’s a very tight game, it’s a good hockey team. It’s two teams that were tight together in the standings, two teams that are very competitive. I thought we played a good enough game to win today, but obviously you can’t win when you don’t score. We’ve got to work with that, but there’s a lot of things that we did do well in the game here today that gave us a chance going into the third period to win the hockey game. We’re going to have to regroup here obviously and push back and get one to go our way next time.  

Q. (Chris Johnston, Sportsnet): I’m just wondering what your thoughts were on Freddie’s performance. Made some big saves but he wasn’t happy with the goal that beat him. 

SHELDON KEEFE: I thought he did make some big saves, for sure. There was a few times they had some real quality looks. He was very good on those and there was some perimeter chances down the wing and stuff like that that he did a really good job of holding his ground on. Obviously, he misread the one in the third there that got by him, but he kept them to one goal. He, as far as I’m concerned, did his job. We’ve got to find a way to give him some help.

Q. (Justin Cuthbert, Yahoo Sports): It seemed Mitch Marner and John Tavares had trouble getting going tonight. What challenges did you see in front of them and what needs to happen for them to get going in the rest of the series? 

SHELDON KEEFE: I thought they had a pretty good first period, actually. They had some pretty good offensive zone shifts and were around the net a little bit. They didn’t really get a chance to build upon that so we’ll have to look at it a little bit closer. Obviously, that’s another part of it is they’ve got a tough matchup there too, right? Gavrikov and Savard are tough defenders just the same as we’ve already talked about the other two. It’s a tough matchup for them, we need to get a little bit more from them but we need more from everybody obviously. We didn’t get anything from anyone today, we only generated one power play. All those types of things make it harder than it needs to be, but we expected it to be hard, we expected it to be uncomfortable. I thought this one today could have gone either way. It didn’t go our way so we’ve got to regroup here and find a way to be better next time out. 

Q. (Kevin McGran, Toronto Star): Just a couple of words if you could on your third and fourth lines. Start with Nick Robertson, what you thought of a teenager playing in his first game tonight, and then also your decision to limit the Gauthier line, I guess obviously looking for offence there. 

SHELDON KEEFE: First, I thought Robbie had some good moments in the game. In fact, he had a great look early in the hockey game, just got the toe of the goaltender there and obviously that was a big moment that could have put us in a real good spot. It was good to see him get into that position, available to get the shot. Otherwise, I thought he was good in a game that was difficult to play. That would be, by far, the hardest game he’s ever played in, I would imagine. He’s going to have to continue to find his way through that. I thought that Kerfoot and Kappy again, I thought those guys had legs and they were on the puck and gave us some pretty good shifts as a line. As for our fourth line, I thought they had a real tough start to the game, some long sequences in our own zone, just not what you want out of your fourth line. It made it difficult to really find any sort of rhythm with them and then, of course, once we’re down early in the third period, it becomes even harder. 

AUSTON MATTHEWS & MORGAN RIELLY

Q. (Lance Hornby, Toronto Sun): What happened to you offensively tonight? What do you have to do in game two? 

MORGAN RIELLY: I don’t know. I think we’ve got to look at it. I think that there were chances that we generated, obviously not capitalizing on any, but I think there are good things you have to look at and areas we have to improve on and we’ll do that tomorrow at practice. 

Q. (Steve Simmons, Toronto Sun): It’s one thing to hear about how tight they play and to even watch the film of how tight they play. What was it like to experience it? 

AUSTON MATTHEWS: Well, first of all, it’s unfortunate that I’m getting a question from you at this point, Steve. I just wanted to say I didn’t really appreciate the article you wrote about me a couple months ago. It was a bit unethical, to be honest. Moving along, I thought they obviously play a really structured defence and they make it hard on you to get on the inside. I think we’ve just got to do a better job of maybe shooting more pucks and have guys coming down on it. 

Q. (Chris Johnston, Sportsnet): Was there anything that surprised you that they did or was it kind of what you guys were expecting? 

AUSTON MATTHEWS: I don’t think anything really surprised us. They play a pretty straightforward and you know what you’re going to expect every night. They’re going to compete, they’re going to play physical. I thought we did some good things, there are some things we can clean up. Obviously, we’ve got to create more offence, get guys more on the inside and capitalize on some opportunities. Their goalie made some good saves as well. 

Q. (Jonas Siegel, The Athletic): Auston, what’s it like to face somebody as big and who can move like Seth Jones, shift after shift? 

AUSTON MATTHEWS: They’re good players. They’re good on both sides of the puck. We’ve got to be aware when they’re out there and obviously try to be strong down low, physical on the offensive side as well as the defensive side. 

FREDERIK ANDERSEN & ZACH HYMAN 

Q. (Josh Clipperton, The Canadian Press): How frustrating is it to play against that team, their style? 

ZACH HYMAN: They play playoff hockey, this is playoff hockey. I thought we had our chances, we just couldn’t capitalize. You’re not going to win any games if you don’t score any goals. They got one and we couldn’t get on the board. 

Q. (Bruce Arthur, Toronto Star): Freddie, if you could just take us through what you saw on that goal and how it went for you? 

FREDERIK ANDERSEN: I saw him coming down the wing and his initial release looked to be a little bit higher. I reacted up and obviously made a little mistake. It cost us a goal and eventually the game, unfortunately. That’s what I saw. 

Q. (Jonas Siegel, The Athletic): Zach, what kind of challenges does Seth Jones present? 

ZACH HYMAN: He’s obviously an elite defenceman. He’s big and strong, he can skate. He plays well on the defensive side and the offensive side. Just trying to make his life and just out there and battle against him.

Maple Leafs’ Andersen eager to play in any NHL restart plan — Toronto Sun

https://twitter.com/MapleLeafs/status/1253045291873382400 Read More

Maple Leafs’ Andersen eager to play in any NHL restart plan — Toronto Sun

After a month in quarantine at Auston Matthews’ home in Arizona, Frederik Andersen isn’t going to quibble where, when or how the NHL re-starts its season.

Not that the Maple Leafs goaltender is complaining about his teammate’s extended hospitality, but he’d like to get back on ice instead of solely facing Matthews in  the small condominium sports court.

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman has said one of the ideas being discussed after more than six weeks on hold from COVID-19 concerns is wrapping up regular season play with a concentration of games in designated league cities, perhaps one in each division.

“I’ve heard a lot of different ideas and scenarios, but I’m pretty much open to anything that can be done to salvage the season,” Andersen told the Toronto media on a Thursday afternoon conference call.

Even if it means a couple of weeks in strict isolation-type conditions again in one place and possibly without spectators for the games?

“I’m not against that. Everyone wants sports back on. I think if there’s a chance we can go back to play, we owe it to ourselves to play the game we’re so passionate about and  owe it to the fans who’ve been waiting. It will give them something to watch. Fans are starving for something other than a re-run of old shows. It will be a big part of returning to normal.”

Andersen would like to see those missing March and April regular season games completed as a prelude to normal playoffs at some point in the summer.

“There are 31 teams who’ve put a lot of time and effort in. I’d definitely like to see something done to finalize the season, move on and not lose out on all the hard work.”

Andersen chose not to return to his native Denmark when the NHL shuttered on March 12, with that country ahead of North America in closing its borders. But rather than stay in Toronto, he elected to hang out with fellow bachelor Matthews in Scottsdale. He brought his gear with him and when there’s space open on then court, there’s 1-on-1 shooting.Toronto Maple Leafs@MapleLeafs

Leafs’ Matthews misses game, but it’s ‘irrelevant when we’re talking about human lives’ — Toronto Sun

Auston Matthews can’t say why reality dating shows appeal to him, finds it “cool and humbling” to be in the same conversation with superstar Alex Ovechkin, and isn’t surprised that Sheldon Keefe doesn’t have a Netflix account. Read More

Leafs’ Matthews misses game, but it’s ‘irrelevant when we’re talking about human lives’ — Toronto Sun

Auston Matthews can’t say why reality dating shows appeal to him, finds it “cool and humbling” to be in the same conversation with superstar Alex Ovechkin, and isn’t surprised that Sheldon Keefe doesn’t have a Netflix account.

Matthews, who was on track for a 50-goal season with the Maple Leafs when the COVID-19 pandemic caused the National Hockey League to go on pause on March 12, joined the media on a conference call on Thursday from his home in Arizona and touched on a variety of issues.

While the conversation was light-hearted at times, the 22-year-old Matthews didn’t waver from the fact that what he is paid millions of dollars to do — put the puck in the net and help lead the Leafs to wins — diminishes greatly in the wake of what’s happening on a global scale.

“Anybody would love to be playing hockey and be able to live a normal life, but this thing is bigger than sports, bigger than a lot of things,” Matthews said. “The most important thing is being safe and trying to stay as healthy as possible.

“It’s frustrating and disappointing to have this season go on pause, but when you think about being really close to scoring 50 goals, it all becomes irrelevant when we’re talking about human lives and what kinds of things are going on around the world.”

Matthews had 47 goals, one less than NHL leaders Ovechkin and David Pastrnak, when the NHL put a halt on the 2020-21 schedule. The Leafs were in third place in the Atlantic Division with 81 points, three up on the Florida Panthers, and had 12 games remaining.

Among the topics Matthews — who has Leafs teammate Frederik Andersen as a house guest during the pause — discussed with reporters on Thursday (some questions and answers have been edited for length):

♦ Keefe was saying recently he wants his players to come back as better versions of themselves. How do you address that and what facilities do you have at home for keeping in shape?

MATTHEWS: It’s tough to have all the resources you would have if we were all training in the summer. I’ve been watching some video, watching clips, trying to stay as active as possible while respecting social distancing. I’ve been shooting pucks and stick-handling. I have free weights and I have a sport court being built. I have rollerblades. I’m trying to do everything I can to stay in shape and try to not lose that focus.

♦ Assuming the NHL finishes the regular season, how much would it mean to you to (possibly) score more goals than Ovechkin?

MATTHEWS: It’s pretty cool and humbling to be in the same conversation as a guy like him. He has been a generational player and has made a big impact beyond the game and led the way for lots of players. Hopefully, we get back to playing hockey and can compete again. There is unfinished business considering we have 12 games left to play and there is close races for spots in the playoffs. But like I said, this is bigger than sport.

♦ If the season doesn’t resume, how will you wrap this season up if we go right to 2020-21?

MATTHEWS: That’s a scenario that we would all not like to see happen. If that’s the case, there were lots of ups and downs, lots of growth and room for growth. We had our fair share of adversity. That kind of stuff builds character and leadership and all that, but hopefully, hypothetically speaking, (going right into next season) doesn’t happen.

♦ Brendan Shanahan was saying recently that on the upside you guys responded from having your backs up against the wall quite regularly, including your last game where you beat the Lightning. On the downside, he was wondering why this team had a tendency to put its back against the wall so often. Thoughts on that?

MATTHEWS: I don’t really know how to answer that. For a big part of the season, starts for us were a bit of an issue … trying to have more of a killer mentality and a killer instinct to start games no matter who we’re playing, making sure we’re all ready. That should be taken upon the leaders to set that example. I think all of that showed a bit of an immature side of us, but I think that’s all stuff that can be fixed. It’s more of a mentality than anything.

♦ It’s looking like the NHL draft will have to be done either online or remotely or at a hotel if distancing rules get relaxed. As a No. 1 pick (in 2016), do you feel for guys like Alexis Lafreniere or Quinton Byfield who won’t get to hear their names called the way that you did?

MATTHEWS: Hearing your name called and going up there, getting your jersey, it’s all extremely surreal. It’s an experience that you dream of as a kid and if that’s not the case, it’s going to be tough. In the long run, they’re going to be great players in this league, and hopefully they’ll have more memories and experiences to cherish.

♦ Have you envisioned what it might be like playing in an empty rink, because there’s a high probability of that happening if we are to squeeze in the playoffs?

MATTHEWS: It would feel kind of weird. Fans are such a huge part of the game and not only inside the arena, but when we’ve got the playoffs going on and we’ve got Maple Leaf Square and everybody out there, the atmosphere shifts to another level. It would definitely be pretty strange to be playing in an empty arena with no crowds and no noise or atmosphere.

♦ Keefe said he is binging on the Leafs and that he doesn’t have a Netflix account. Does it surprise you that he hasn’t shut his brain off? And what — other than an apparently relentless work ethic — stood out to you about his first few months on the job?

MATTHEWS: No, that’s not really too surprising. Since he has taken over, his work ethic and his commitment to the players and the team — not just on a hockey level but on a personal level — has been amazing. I think he has been great. Everybody has been really receptive to him and I think he has been extremely receptive to us. That’s all you can really ask for. The fact that he has continued to watch film and find different ways for the team to be better, areas of weaknesses and strengths, that’s just a commitment to be the best coach he can be.

♦ Has your mind wandered to idea that the end of the pause might not happen in (or before) September and we’re looking at a lot longer than the next several months?

MATTHEWS: You never know what the case is or what’s going to happen. It’s just important that everybody is really practising social distancing and staying healthy. When the time comes, we can get back on the ice again and health officials and everybody declares it’s a go. There are a lot of hypotheticals, so it’s tough to really pinpoint what the situation is going to be.

♦ On a lighter note, it has been noted that you are a great devotee to various dating shows on TV — Love is Blind, Love Island. Have you been able to turn Freddie on to those and what is the appeal of watching these shows?

MATTHEWS: The first one I watched was Love is Blind. It was just on Netflix and it was just right there so I clicked it and started watching it. I just binge-watched it. I don’t really know what the appeal is.  Freddie will only watch a couple of episodes (of Love Island) before he leaves the room and goes somewhere else. It’s pretty awful but I’m in deep now so I can’t really turn back.

♦ I’m wondering if you caught any of the old NHL games that have been broadcast (during the pause), and what you thought about the goaltending equipment of the 1970s and 1980s, and the hooking and holding of the 1990s?

MATTHEWS: With all of the speed and skill and the talent, the young talent that’s in the league now, I feel like this is the most exciting hockey that has been played, but it’s pretty cool to watch old games. I’m a big equipment guy so to see the guys using their wooden sticks and the goaltending gear … Even the way they goaltended back then compared to now, it’s pretty cool to see how far it’s all come together. Where the game is at, it’s extremely exciting to be a part of and playing right now.

♦ You said you’ve been working on your shot. Is Freddie in net for those practice sessions and is there a bit of a competitive rivalry going on?

MATTHEWS: No, he’s not going in the net. I wouldn’t do that to him. He’s not a street hockey goalie. He likes to play out.

tkoshan@postmedia.com

twitter.com/koshtorontosun

LEAFS 2, LIGHTNING 1. WHAT THE LEAFS SAID: “This is another really close hockey game that we’ve had to play here and, again, at 5-on-5 we were outscored today. That’s been a challenge for us. That’s something that obviously we’ve worked at, but when you’re going up against the best offensive team in the NHL, you’re going to give up a great deal. When we did, Freddie (Andersen) was outstanding, in the second period especially. There were a lot of very good things for us and we’ll take two very important points.” –SHELDON KEEFE

HEAD COACH SHELDON KEEFE

On the team having success putting the game away in the third period tonight:

I think it’s a confidence thing. That’s part of it. So yeah, I do. I don’t think that’s characteristic that a team has. I think it’s something that comes and goes, kind of with your confidence as a team. We haven’t really been going as a team, so we haven’t had that. This is another really close hockey game that we’ve had to play here and, again, at 5-on-5 we were outscored today. That’s been a challenge for us. That’s something that obviously we’ve worked at, but when you’re going up against the best offensive team in the NHL, you’re going to give up a great deal. When we did, Freddie [Andersen] was outstanding, in the second period especially. There were a lot of very good things for us and we’ll take two very important points.

On Morgan Rielly’s play tonight:

I thought he was pretty good, all things considered. He hasn’t played and it’s a tough game – especially in that second period. It’s hard for our defence to get off the ice and they’re really coming. It looked like it was taking a toll on him physically, in terms of his conditioning. It’s one thing to train, as we all know and say, and practice in the gym and all that, but it is a whole different ballgame. Just his legs and the way he skates, all of a sudden, he jumps into a hole – whether it’s offensively or defensively he’ll cover for you – he has instincts along the offensive blueline, waits above for the defensive pucks. He plays the whole game.

On if anything over the last couple of days led to a strong start tonight:

We’ve talked a lot about our starts and consistency in our play. I thought we started really well. It was a combination of a really good start for us, but I don’t think it was a good start for Tampa. I thought we moved the puck extremely well. It was a game we just played with the puck on our stick a lot. That’s when we are frustrating. We just kept coming and had lots of chances, lots of time with the puck. It was a really good period for us in that sense, we didn’t have to defend very much at all. That was a real key for us was to try to keep the puck out of their hands and in their end.

AUSTON MATTHEWS (1 GOAL)

On having a few days between the California trip and tonight:

You have lots of time to reflect, it’s a five-hour flight so kick back and relax and nice to get a couple days off and try to get adjusted back to the time zone and time change and everything. Then have a good day of practice and just try to come out like we did tonight. The second period, I think, it got away from us a bit, lots of penalties but I think our first period is a good starting point for us and how we want to play. We’ve got to make sure we do that more consistently and throughout the game.

On Morgan Rielly’s leadership:

He’s extremely vocal and I think he’s a guy that everyone looks up to. I know for myself he’s one of my closest friends on the team and someone that helped me out, especially my first couple years. I spent a lot of time with him and I still do. He’s a great leader and a great teammate and really good person. To go along with his hockey abilities, he’s a guy we’re definitely happy to have back.

WILLIAM NYLANDER (1 GOAL)

On tonight’s win:

Well, obviously, the PK was great, and I think our power play got some big important goals today. We played solid through the first and third periods, so we want to clean up that second period.

On what was the key to the strong start tonight:

I think we had a couple days to feel fresh and we felt we were buzzing already in warmups.

On what worked well on the power play tonight:

I think we just kept it simple, tried to move it around and make easy plays and not force anything really. It was really good work.

MORGAN RIELLY (21:47 TOI)

On the important of consistency this time of year:

Yeah, we’ve talked about that before, we’ve talked about being more consistent and I think now more than ever, just given the standings, the time of year and remaining games, I think it’s an opportunity for us to start to play well and build some momentum. I think if you look back to this time last year our performances weren’t what we wanted them to be in time for playoffs and this year we’ve got a chance to fix that and change that. It’s important that we take that seriously and take the good things here tonight and talk about it tomorrow.

On the key to the strong first period:

Well, I think we moved the puck quick; we’re not holding onto it. For me, I think it was just D-zone execution and the importance of that. Going back, if we’re able to breakout, quick and create speed that way, it just seems to be smoother for us. It’s when you go back for pucks and you get beat back for pucks and you lose races, that’s when you tend to get hemmed in. I think that if we focus on that and that rhythm it creates more of a support system and we can move the puck forward with speed through the neutral zone.

MAPLE LEAFS 2, LIGHTNING 1 POSTGAME NOTES: Mitch Marner collected the secondary assist on Nylander’s first period goal and later had the primary assist on Matthews’ third period goal. Tonight’s game is Marner’s 13th multi-assist and 17th multi-point game of the season. He has 20 points (4-16-20) in 18 games against Atlantic Division opponents this season. In 32 games on home ice in 2019-20, he has recorded 40 points (4-36-40) in 32 games on home ice. Tonight’s game was Marner’s 300th.

TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING (43-21-6 – 92 Points) vs.

TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS (36-25-9 – 81 Points)

TUESDAY, MARCH 10, 2020

 123OTFINAL
TAMPA BAY0101
TORONTO1012

GAME SUMMARY         |           EVENT SUMMARY        |           FACEOFF SUMMARY


ON THE SCORESHEET

  • William Nylander put the Maple Leafs on the board with a power play goal at 12:42 of the first period. Nylander has goals (2) in two consecutive games. In three games against the Lightning this season, he has registered two goals and two assists. He has recorded nine goals and eight assists in 19 games played since the All-Star Break.
  • Auston Matthews scored the second Toronto goal of the night on the power play at 3:38 of the third period. Matthews has 32 goals and 17 assists in 34 games on home ice this season. He has 23 points (14 goals, 9 assists) in 22 games against Atlantic Division opposition.
  • John Tavares registered the primary assist on Nylander’s first period goal and later had the secondary assist on Matthews’ third period goal. Tonight’s game is his sixth multi-assist and 18th multi-point game of 2019-20. He has registered 29 points (10 goals, 19 assists) in 30 games on home ice this season. In three games against Tampa Bay this season, he has registered three goals and two assists.
  • Mitch Marner collected the secondary assist on Nylander’s first period goal and later had the primary assist on Matthews’ third period goal. Tonight’s game is Marner’s 13th multi-assist and 17th multi-point game of the season. He has 20 points (4-16-20) in 18 games against Atlantic Division opponents this season. In 32 games on home ice in 2019-20, he has recorded 40 points (4-36-40) in 32 games on home ice. Tonight’s game was Marner’s 300th NHL game.
  • Frederik Andersen stopped 32 of the 33 shots he faced to earn his 29th win of the season.

SHOTS ON GOAL (5-on-5 in brackets)

 1st2nd3rdOTTOTAL
TAMPA BAY6 (5)15 (7)12 (10)33 (22)
TORONTO17 (13)5 (4)14 (11)36 (28)
      

SHOT ATTEMPTS (5-on-5 in brackets)

 1st2nd3rdOTTOTAL
TAMPA BAY15 (14)21 (9)27 (21)63 (44)
TORONTO29 (23)16 (10)21 (17)66 (50)

NO PLACE LIKE HOME

Record at Home18-9-7 (34 Games)
All-Time Record vs. Tampa Bay 56-35-2-7 (100 Games)
All-Time Record vs. Tampa Bay at Home29-18-1-3 (51 Games)
Record vs. Eastern Conference20-15-6 (41 Games)
Record vs. Atlantic Division12-8-2 (22 Games)
Attendance19,124

MAPLE LEAFS LEADERS

Shots(Matthews)
Shot Attempts8 (Matthews)
Faceoff Wins12 (Matthews)
Faceoff Win Percentage100% (Gauthier – 1 won, 0 lost)
Hits(Holl)
Blocked Shots(Ceci, Dermott)
Takeaways(Spezza)
TOI25:06 (Dermott)
Power Play TOI5:13 (Nylander)
Shorthanded TOI6:42 (Dermott)
Shifts27 (Ceci, Rielly)
5-on-5 Shot Attempt Percentage68.4% (Malgin – 13 for, 6 against)
  

RECORD WHEN…

Scoring first24-5-2
Lead after 117-3-1
Tied after 29-6-3
Score multiple power play goals10-1-0
Do not allow a power play goal22-9-5
Outshooting opponent20-10-4
Tuesday9-5-1

OF NOTE…

  • The Maple Leafs went 4-for-4 on the penalty kill and 2-for-5 on the power play tonight.
  • Pierre Engvall, Alex Kerfoot and Denis Malgin were the lone Toronto skaters to not start a 5-on-5 shift in the offensive zone.
  • Morgan Rielly was on the ice for a team-high 21 shot attempts at 5-on-5 tonight. Rielly finished the game with a 5-on-5 shot attempt percentage of 53.9 percent (21 for, 18 against).
  • Auston Matthews won 86 percent (6 won, 1 lost) of his offensive zone faceoffs.

UPCOMING GAMES:

  • Thursday, March 12, 7:00 p.m. vs. Nashville Predators (TSN4, TSN 1050)
  • Saturday, March 14, 7:00 p.m. at Boston Bruins (Sportsnet, FAN 590)
  • Tuesday, March 17, 7:00 p.m. vs. New Jersey Devils (TSN4, FAN 590)
  • Thursday, March 19, 7:00 p.m. vs. New York Islanders (Sportsnet Ontario, TSN 1050)
  • Saturday, March 21, 7:00 p.m. vs. Columbus Blue Jackets (Sportsnet, TSN 1050)

LIGHTNING AT MAPLE LEAFS PREGAME NOTES: Auston Matthews is third among NHL skaters in goals (46).- Leads the NHL with 35 even-strength goals.- Leads in goals scored at 5-on-5 (30).- Tied for first in wrist shot goals (27).- Tied for second in multi-goal games (10).- Seventh in multi-point games (25).- Ninth in points (46-33-79).- Fourth with 283 shots on goal.

TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING (43-20-6 – 92 Points) vs.

TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS (35-25-9 – 79 Points)

MARCH 10, 2020 ▪ 7:00 PM EST

SCOTIABANK ARENA (TORONTO, ON) ▪
TV: TSN4 ▪ RADIO: SPORTSNET 590 THE FAN

MAPLE LEAFS HISTORY versus TAMPA BAY

ALL-TIME RECORD:55-35-2-7 (99 Games)
ALL-TIME AT HOME:28-18-1-3 (50 Games)
2019-20:1-1-0
LAST FIVE:2-3-0
LAST 10:3-6-1

MAPLE LEAFS CAREER LEADERS versus TAMPA BAY

GAMES PLAYED:Jason Spezza (48), John Tavares (35), Morgan Rielly (26)
GOALS:Jason Spezza (23), John Tavares (13), Three players tied (4)
ASSISTS:Jason Spezza (33), John Tavares (24), Tyson Barrie (8)
POINTS:Jason Spezza (55), John Tavares (35), Auston Matthews (11)
PENALTY MINUTES:John Tavares (18), Jason Spezza (18), Kyle Clifford (13)

MAPLE LEAFS – LIGHTNING TEAM STATS

 TORONTOTAMPA BAY
GOALS FOR (Rank):235 (3rd)242 (1st)
GOALS AGAINST (Rank):       221 (28th)192 (10th)
POWER PLAY [%] (Rank):43/190 [22.6%] (7th)49/207 [23.7%] (5th)
PENALTY KILL [%] (Rank):146/189 [77.3%] (23rd)185/226 [81.9%] (12th)
SHOTS (Rank):2266 (5th)2143 (17th)
5-on-5 SHOT ATTEMPTS FOR (Rank):3416 (3rd)3085 (15th)
5-on-5 SHOT ATTEMPT % (Rank):52.0% (6th)52.3% (5th)
FACEOFF % (Rank):52.5% (3rd)50.5% (t-10th)

MAPLE LEAFS – LIGHTNING NOTES

First Matchup between Clubs:October 15, 1992 vs. Tampa Bay (Toronto 5, Tampa Bay 3)
All-Time Record:55-35-2-7 (99 Games)
All-Time Record at Home:28-18-1-3 (50 Games)
All-Time Record on the Road:27-17-1-4 (49 Games)
Last Win vs. Opponent at Home:February 12, 2018 (Toronto 4, Tampa Bay 3)
  

MAPLE LEAFS MILESTONES vs. LIGHTNING

Zach HymanFirst NHL game (February 29, 2016 vs. Tampa Bay)
Kasperi KapanenFirst NHL game (February 29, 2016 vs. Tampa Bay)
William NylanderFirst NHL game (February 29, 2016 vs. Tampa Bay)
  

MAPLE LEAFS LEADERS

CATEGORYLEADER
GOALS46 (Matthews)
ASSISTS49 (Marner)
POINTS79 (Matthews)
POWER PLAY POINTS24 (Matthews)
SHORTHANDED POINTS(Engvall, Kapanen)
PIMs41 (Holl)
SHOTS283 (Matthews)
FACEOFF WIN%55.4% (Tavares)
5-on-5 SHOT ATTEMPT %54.5% (Nylander)
BLOCKED SHOTS110 (Muzzin)
TAKEAWAYS76 (Matthews)
HITS109 (Muzzin)
TOI PER GAME24:15 (Rielly)
PP TOI PER GAME3:11 (Marner)
SH TOI PER GAME2:49 (Ceci)

MAPLE LEAFS SNAPSHOTS

Faceoffs– The Maple Leafs rank third among NHL teams in faceoff win percentage (52.5%) and are third among NHL teams in offensive zone faceoff win percentage (53.9%).
Goals by Strength– The Maple Leafs are third in the NHL in goals scored at 5-on-5 (159).
Goals by Period– Toronto is second in the NHL in goals scored in the second period (86) and are ninth in the NHL in goals scored in the third period (78).
Power Play– The Maple Leafs have the second fewest power play opportunities (190) among NHL teams that have scored at least 40 power play goals (43).
Penalty Kill– Toronto has been shorthanded 189 times this season, which is the eighth-fewest times shorthanded in the NHL.
Scoring First– Toronto has a .767 win percentage when scoring first, which the fifth-highest in the NHL.

MAPLE LEAFS PLAYER NOTES

Frederik Andersen– Fourth among NHL goaltenders in wins (28).- Ranks fifth in the NHL in saves (1,402).- Has a 12-7-6 record on home ice in 2019-20, with a 3.11 goals-against average and a .901 save percentage
Tyson Barrie– Has eight multi-assist games, which is tied for the fourth-most among NHL defencemen.- Tied for third among NHL defencemen in multi-point games (12).
– Averages 14.15 shot attempts per game at 5-on-5, which is the sixth-highest average among NHL defencemen who have played in at least 50 games.- Ranks 17th among NHL defencemen in 5-on-5 time on ice per game (18:18).- Ranks 16th among NHL defencemen in slap shots taken (57).
Jack Campbell– Has a 3-2-1 record with a .915 save percentage and a 2.63 goals-against average since being acquired by the Maple Leafs.
Kyle Clifford– Ninth among NHL left wingers who have appeared in 50 games in 5-on-5 shot attempt percentage (53.7%).
– Averages 14.86 shot attempts per 60 minutes of ice time at 5-on-5, which ranks 18th among left wingers.- Ranks 10.45 hits per 60 minutes of ice time, which ranks 29th among NHL skaters.
Pierre Engvall– Tied for fourth among NHL rookie forwards who have appeared in 40 games in 5-on-5 shot attempt percentage (51.8%). – Has an on-ice goals-for percentage of 52.6 percent at 5-on-5, which is the seventh highest among NHL rookie forwards who have appeared in 40 games.- Ranks third among rookie forwards who have skated in 40 games in 5-on-5 shot attempts per 60 minutes (13.73).
Justin Holl– Has started the seventh-lowest percentage of his 5-on-5 shifts (42.0%) in the offensive zone among right-handed defencemen.- Ranks second in 5-on-5 shot attempt percentage (51.9%) among NHL defencemen who have started less than 45 percent of their 5-on-5 shifts in the offensive zone (42.0%).- Has the highest unblocked shot attempt percentage at 5-on-5 (52.6%) among NHL defencemen to have started fewer than 45 percent (42.0%) of their shifts in the offensive zone.
Zach Hyman– Ranks fifth among Maple Leafs skaters in points per game (0.76).- Fourth among Toronto forwards in even-strength time on ice per game (16:08).- Ranks third among Toronto forwards in shorthanded time on ice per game (1:48).
Kasperi Kapanen– Has drawn 20 penalties this season and taken eight, which gives him the highest net penalties among Toronto skaters (+12) and ranks tied for 13th among NHL forwards.- Fourth among Maple Leafs and 18th among NHL right wingers who have appeared in 50 games in assists per 60 minutes of ice time (1.21) at 5-on-5.
Alex Kerfoot– Ranks second among Toronto skaters who have appeared in 50 games in assists per 60 minutes of ice time (1.24) at 5-on-5.- Eighth among Maple Leafs in even-strength points (8-17-25).- Tied for second among Maple Leafs in primary assists at 5-on-5 (11).
Mitch Marner– Ranks 10th among NHL skaters in assists (49).- Has 12 multi-assist games, which is tied for the seventh-most among NHL skaters.- Averaging 1.12 points per game, which is the 17th-highest average in the NHL.- Averaging 1.74 assists per 60 minutes of ice time at 5-on-5, which is 13th among NHLers who have appeared in at least 50 games.- Tied for ninth in the NHL with 31 primary assists.
Auston Matthews– Third among NHL skaters in goals (46).- Leads the NHL with 35 even-strength goals.- Leads the NHL in goals scored at 5-on-5 (30).- Tied for first in the NHL in wrist shot goals (27).- Tied for second in the NHL in multi-goal games (10).- Seventh in the NHL in multi-point games (25).- Ninth among NHL skaters in points (46-33-79).- Fourth in the NHL with 283 shots on goal.
William Nylander– Leads the Maple Leafs and is tied for fifth among NHLers in game-winning goals (7).- Tied for 14th in the NHL in goals scored at 5-on-5 (19).- Tied for seventh among NHL forwards who average 14:00 per game (14:31) in 5-on-5 shot attempt percentage (54.6%).- Has a goal and two assists in two games against Tampa Bay this season.
Jason Spezza– Averaging 2.00 points per 60 minutes of ice time at 5-on-5 this season, which is the fourth-highest average among Toronto skaters who have appeared in at least 50 games.- Averaging 0.78 goals per 60 minutes of ice time at 5-on-5 this season, which ranks fifth among Maple Leafs who have appeared in at least 50 games.- Averaging 1.22 assists per 60 minutes of ice time at 5-on-5, which is tied for the third-highest average among Toronto skaters.
John Tavares– Tied for 24th among NHL skaters in multi-point games (17).- Ranks 10th among NHL centres in 5-on-5 ice time per game (15:28).- Ranks 14th in the NHL in faceoff wins (610)- Has recorded 18 points (10-8-18) in 18 games against Atlantic Division teams.- Had three goals in two games against Tampa Bay this season.
  

CURRENT POINT STREAKS

None 
  

UPCOMING MILESTONES

Cody CeciFive games from 500 NHL games
Mitch MarnerOne game from 300 NHL games
Jason SpezzaOne assist from 600 assists
  

RECENT MILESTONES

Zach Hyman300th NHL game (March 5 at Los Angeles)
Kasperi Kapanen200th NHL game (March 5 at Los Angeles)
  

INJURY REPORT

Andreas Johnsson (Knee)On injured reserve.
Ilya Mikheyev (Wrist Laceration)On injured reserve.
Jake Muzzin (Hand)Sustained a broken hand on February 25 at Tampa Bay.
Morgan Rielly (Foot)On injured reserve.
 Man Games Lost: 196

DUCKS 2, LEAFS 1. WHAT THEY SAID: “I have belief — full belief — in this team as far as their goal-scoring ability. Obviously, we’re a little snake-bitten right now, but I think they played well enough to score a couple and I just take ownership of that second one. If I can see it, I expect myself to stop it every time and he just beat me clean so that one’s on me and we should have had at least a point.” –JACK CAMPBELL

HEAD COACH SHELDON KEEFE

On the need to attack the opposition’s net to generate more offence next week:

Obviously, when you look at the last couple games on this trip, we haven’t been able to generate much offensively. So that’s part of it. You look at a lot of the goals that we’ve scored here in recent games, a lot of it’s been happening around the net. We need to have more of a presence in there, but it’s an interesting road trip. You’d never think that our team would give up two goals in two games and only come away with one point, you’d probably think we were talking about a different team, but that’s the reality, that’s the way it was this week. The offence dried up for us, a lot of things that have been going in for us haven’t and didn’t on this trip and we don’t get results as a result.

On the challenge of keeping the team’s spirits up after the road trip:

Well, it’s difficult, but I think just the fact that our team takes a lot of heat for how we defend and what we give up and how many goals we give up and all those types of things and how wide-open games are. We’ve focused a lot on that as a team, in terms of slowing a lot of that stuff down. I think we’ve done that for quite a while here now — and now today wasn’t as good as yesterday in that regard, but we’ve got to find ways within that to generate offence. I think that the positives are that our guys will feel good about the fact that they’re playing in these tight games and feel good about the fact on the back-to-back at the end of the trip here that we have our best period in the third and have a pretty strong push throughout the period, but we’ll regroup and be ready on home ice.

On the power play drying up in recent games:

Yeah, it has gone dry. Really, what I’m seeing is a lot of the shots that had been going in for us aren’t going in, in recent games. So when that happens, we’ve got to really look at things and see what we can change and see what we can do a little differently to find some different looks and change things up a little bit. Now, we’ve scored at pretty much a ridiculous pace for quite some time here now and over time those things dry up a little bit and you’ve got to make adjustments.

JACK CAMPBELL (26 SAVES)

On the pressure on him to be perfect when the team is struggling to score goals:

I have belief — full belief — in this team as far as their goal-scoring ability. Obviously, we’re a little snake-bitten right now, but I think they played well enough to score a couple and I just take ownership of that second one. If I can see it, I expect myself to stop it every time and he just beat me clean so that one’s on me and we should have had at least a point.

On his save on Getzlaf while shorthanded to end the second period:

Yeah, it was battling. It was a strange play at the net, it kind of went off a shin pad or something, I made a right pad save and the game kind of slowed down a little bit and I kind of saw it play out. I just tried to get my glove up and luckily, he put it there. So I’ll take that one for sure.

MITCH MARNER (22:26 TOI)

On the level of frustration at the recent lack of scoring for the team:

I just think we know it’s going to come so there’s no need to rush or put pressure on ourselves. We’re a team that can score and this road trip we showed that we can play in low-scoring games, it’s just our scoring wasn’t there, but it’ll come.

On what the team needs to do to generate more greasy goals:

Yeah, I just think those second opportunities. It starts with all of us. From our D to our forwards, we all come up top, we all get those shots through and tonight and through this road trip forward-wise, when we come in as F3, we’re not getting those shots through. We’re making those turnovers happen and getting caught with our D down and I just think ruining a little bit of chemistry and stuff like that. So, like I said, we know it’s going to turn around, there’s no reason to feel like we should put pressure on ourselves and we’ve just got to stay calm with it.

AUSTON MATTHEWS (23:03 TOI)

On the team having the personnel to be able to push through this week’s slump:

We’re all in this together. You play through the good and the bad and the adversity and obviously, in the position that we’re in, there’s lots of critics and lots of stuff that comes with it. But I think in this room we’re headstrong, and it doesn’t matter what’s going to get thrown our way, we’re going to come out of it stronger. Obviously, not the road trip that that we really wanted. So, that’s on us and we’ve got to just build forward and put this aside, learn from it and be better.

On what has prevented the team from generating offence:

I think it’s no secret you come on this road trip, it’s not easy and I think the teams that we played they’re more — their strategy and kind of structure is more to just kind of defend and push you to the outside and let you make the mistakes first. I think for us, we didn’t really challenge the middle of the goalie, he didn’t really have too many tough saves to make. I think that’s a bit of an issue for us right now. I think it’s a little bit of our structure too. I think we’re kind of one foot in the door, one foot out as far as the way we want to play, and I think we just all need to be 100 percent in.

JOHN TAVARES (21:18 TOI)

On what has led to a lack of goals in recent games:

Well, it’s that time of year, things get tighter. You don’t have as much room as maybe you get at times throughout the season. We’ve just got to find a way to get second and third opportunities, get a couple ugly ones. I thought we pressed hard and stayed with it. Obviously, we just didn’t cash in.

On if the struggle to score has led to the team playing tight:

Yeah, maybe. At times, I guess it’s just, honestly, don’t even think about where you’re putting it, just get it on net. I think get bodies there, find a way to cause some confusion, make it tough on them to have to defend you around their net, make it tough on the goaltender. Just got to stay patient, got to keep working and staying with it. Obviously, we’ve got to find a way to put some in and get some results. There was a lot of good things. Just got to find a way to, like I said, get inside that tough part of the ice. That’s tough to get opportunities at this time of year.

SHARKS 5, LEAFS 2. WHAT THEY SAID: “Most of that second period they dominated us. They did what they wanted to and we didn’t win enough puck battles. The only reason we really had a chance going into that third period was because of Jack (Campbell). He played great tonight like usual for us and made it feel possible, got us through that second period and that third we just gave up too many chances. We weren’t stopping on pucks or being strong enough on pucks and it came back to haunt us.” –MITCH MARNER.

HEAD COACH SHELDON KEEFE

On tonight’s loss:

They played really hard today. We just finished a stretch of games here where we played against some of the top teams in the League. For me, that was a harder game for us to play today, just the pace the puck moved, the pace that their feet moved, how competitive they were. Our inability to respond to that and find another level in our game causes a problem where we just — the ice tilted in that second period and we just couldn’t get it back. So that was really tough. The third period to me was pretty even, we just gave up some chances that ended up in our net, but the second period was where they really established their game and took it to us. Strange as it is, that’s the one that we win. We win that period of the three. So we’re in a good spot to try and play there in the third but we gave up too many chances and eventually cost us. You don’t win games when you score two goals.

On Jack Campbell’s play tonight:

I thought he battled all through that second period. There’s a lot of shots, a lot of pucks coming at him. He made some great saves for us there to keep us in the game and give us a chance to win that period and then set us up for the third. Some of the goals — when you look at the goals that go in, there’s some funny stuff happening behind the net, behind the goal line, stuff like that, but he battled and made saves for us. As I said, their goaltender made saves too. We had some real high-end chances that didn’t go in for us, but we’ve got to find a way to generate more than two goals if we want to have a chance to win, and then we can’t give up nearly what we gave up today. A lot of things that haven’t been issues for us in terms of odd-man rushes against and guys getting behind us — we’ve been talking about how we’ve cleaned that up pretty well, but It came back into our game today, I think, in part due to the pace of play, and we just didn’t respond well to it.

JACK CAMPBELL (33 SAVES)

On what San Jose did well in the second period:

I just know they got a lot better. I’m just disappointed. I thought we played, we battled and, you know, I just think Jones outplayed me, bottom line. So I’m not happy about that and I just feel responsible for this one.

On if San Jose is known for lively boards when pucks are shot into the zone:

I’ve played well here before and yeah, I don’t know what was going on there. They must have greased them up before the game. The pucks were coming off pretty strange angles, but no excuses. I’ve just got to find the puck and make the save.

On if he felt any rust after not playing the prior seven games:

No. I felt sharp and dialed in and no excuse for giving up four. It’s just not acceptable.

MITCH MARNER (1 GOAL)

On where the game got away from the team:

Most of that second period they dominated us. They did what they wanted to and we didn’t win enough puck battles. The only reason we really had a chance going into that third period was because of Jack. He played great tonight like usual for us and made it feel possible, got us through that second period and that third we just gave up too many chances. We weren’t stopping on pucks or being strong enough on pucks and it came back to haunt us.

On if the team is still learning how to be more consistent when things go wrong:

I think it’s just the consistency of every shift. It’s just knowing that you want to watch guys go on before you and battle, get in lanes. Coming into this game we talked about how they have one of the best, if not the best guy, at getting pucks through. When that’s happening, we know their game plan is going to be trying to get pucks through on tips, high tips, low tips. We need guys to get in lanes, we need guys to sacrifice for each other and I think that’s something that we’re just missing. It’s just guys needing to buy in more and getting themselves ready.

AUSTON MATTHEWS (1 GOAL, 1 ASSIST)

On trying to play catch up tonight:

Yeah, they play fast. I think the momentum kind of tipped their way and I think we didn’t really do a very good job of getting it back. I think they just kept coming and coming and a lot of times, we just had no pushback. Tough to get stuff going that way.

On San Jose making a big push in the second period: 

Yeah, for sure. I think we just got caught out there and they were able to just continue to play in our zone and kind of tire us out, tire our back end out and just kind of wear on us. So, like I said, they came with a good push there and we just really had no answer.

SHARKS 5, MAPLE LEAFS 2 POSTGAME NOTES: Auston Matthews put the Maple Leafs on the board at 2:48 of the second period before registering the primary assist on Mitch Marner’s second-period goal. Matthews has goals (3) in three consecutive games and points (3-3-6) in four consecutive games. It was Matthews’ 25th multi-point performance of the season, which is tied for the sixth in the NHL. He ranks second in goals (46) and ninth in points (46-33-79). In seven career games against the Sharks, he has recorded 11 points (8-3-11).

TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS (35-24-8 – 78 Points) vs.

SAN JOSE SHARKS (29-33-4 – 62 Points)

TUESDAY, MARCH 3, 2020

 123OTFINAL
TORONTO0202
SAN JOSE1135

GAME SUMMARY         |           EVENT SUMMARY        |           FACEOFF SUMMARY


ON THE SCORESHEET

  • Auston Matthews put the Maple Leafs on the board at 2:48 of the second period before registering the primary assist on Mitch Marner’s second period goal. Matthews has goals (3) in three consecutive games and points (3-3-6) in four consecutive games. Tonight’s game is Matthews’ 25th multi-point performance of the season, which is tied for the sixth-most in the NHL. He ranks second among NHLers in goals (46) and ninth among NHLers in points (46-33-79). In seven career games against the Sharks, he has recorded 11 points (8-3-11).
  • Mitch Marner scored the second Maple Leafs goal of the night at 17:27 of the second period. Marner has points (1-3-4) in four consecutive games. He has recorded 27 points (12 goals, 15 assists) in 25 games on the road this season, collecting 12 of his 17 goals away from home. He has recorded 10 points (2-8-10) in eight career games against San Jose.
  • Martin Marincin registered the lone assist on Matthews’ second period goal. Marincin has points (1-2-3) in three consecutive games. He has recorded a goal and three assists in 24 games played this season. All three of his assists have come on the road in 2019-20.
  • Calle Rosen picked up the secondary assist on Marner’s second period goal. Rosen’s point is his first with Toronto since being re-acquired by the club on February 24. He has three assists in 11 games played between Colorado and Toronto this season.
  • Jack Campbell stopped 33 shots in the loss.

SHOTS ON GOAL (5-on-5 in brackets)

 1st2nd3rdOTTOTAL
TORONTO14 (10)6 (3)7 (6)27 (19)
SAN JOSE11 (8)18 (16)9 (8)38 (32)
      

SHOT ATTEMPTS (5-on-5 in brackets)

 1st2nd3rdOTTOTAL
TORONTO21 (16)12 (8)20 (13)53 (37)
SAN JOSE16 (12)31 (28)13 (11)60 (51)

ON THE ROAD AGAIN

Record on the Road18-15-1 (34 Games)
All-Time Record vs. San Jose 24-22-5-2 (53 Games)
All-Time Record vs. San Jose on the Road9-13-3-0 (25 Games)
Record vs. Western Conference16-9-2 (27 Games)
Record vs. Pacific Division9-4-1 (14 Games)

MAPLE LEAFS LEADERS

Shots(Matthews)
Shot Attempts6 (Matthews)
Faceoff Wins10 (Matthews)
Faceoff Win Percentage67% (Spezza – 4 won, 2 lost)
Hits(Clifford)
Blocked Shots(Holl)
Takeaways(Hyman, Spezza)
TOI26:27 (Barrie)
Power Play TOI4:26 (Barrie)
Shorthanded TOI2:11 (Marincin)
Shifts28 (Dermott)
5-on-5 Shot Attempt Percentage52.9% (Dermott – 18 for, 16 against)
  

RECORD WHEN…

Opponent scores first12-19-6
Trail after 13-15-3
Tied after 28-6-2
Do not score a power play goal15-15-4
Allow one power play goal13-11-3
Outshot by opponent14-14-4
Tuesday8-5-1

OF NOTE…

  • The Maple Leafs went 1-for-2 on the penalty kill and 0-for-3 on the power play tonight.
  • Kyle Clifford, Justin Holl and Kasperi Kapanen started 20 percent of their 5-on-5 shifts in the offensive zone, which was the lowest mark among Toronto skaters.
  • Tyson Barrie was on the ice for a team-high 20 shot attempts at 5-on-5 tonight. Barrie finished the game with a 5-on-5 shot attempt percentage of 47.6 (20 for, 22 against).
  • John Tavares won 67 percent (4 won, 2 lost) of his offensive zone faceoffs.

UPCOMING GAMES:

  • Thursday, March 5, 10:30 p.m. at Los Angeles Kings (Sportsnet Ontario, TSN 1050
  • Friday, March 6, 10:00 p.m. at Anaheim Ducks (TSN4, TSN 1050)
  • Tuesday, March 10, 7:00 p.m. vs. Tampa Bay Lightning (TSN4, TSN 1050)
  • Thursday, March 12, 7:00 p.m. vs. Nashville Predators (TSN4, TSN 1050)
  • Saturday, March 14, 7:00 p.m. at Boston Bruins (Sportsnet, FAN 590)

CANUCKS AT MAPLE LEAFS PREGAME NOTES: John Tavares is tied for 20th among NHL skaters in multi-point games (17).- Has 18 points (8-8-16) in 14 games during the month of February.- Tied for 15th in faceoff wins (564)- Had three points (2-1-3) in the first meeting between Toronto and Vancouver on December 10.- Has recorded 12 points (6-6-12) in 11 games against Pacific Division teams.

VANCOUVER CANUCKS (34-23-6 – 74 Points) vs.

TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS (34-23-8 – 76 Points)

FEBRUARY 29, 2020 ▪ 7:00 PM EST

SCOTIABANK ARENA (TORONTO, ON) ▪
TV: SPORTSNET/HOCKEY NIGHT IN CANADA ▪

RADIO: TSN 1050

MAPLE LEAFS HISTORY versus VANCOUVER

ALL-TIME RECORD:60-62-22-3 (147 Games)
ALL-TIME AT HOME:34-25-11-1 (71 Games)
2019-20:1-0-0
LAST FIVE:3-1-1
LAST 10:6-2-2

MAPLE LEAFS CAREER LEADERS versus VANCOUVER

GAMES PLAYED:Kyle Clifford (38), Jake Muzzin (32), Jason Spezza (27)
GOALS:John Tavares (9), Jason Spezza (6), Three players tied (4)
ASSISTS:Tyson Barrie (11), Jason Spezza (10), John Tavares (10)
POINTS:John Tavares (19), Jason Spezza (16), Tyson Barrie (15)
PENALTY MINUTES:Kyle Clifford (61), Jake Muzzin (24), Morgan Rielly (9)

MAPLE LEAFS – CANUCKS TEAM STATS

 TORONTOVANCOUVER
GOALS FOR (Rank):228 (1st)206 (11th)
GOALS AGAINST (Rank):       212 (28th)192 (12th)
POWER PLAY [%] (Rank):43/177 [24.3%] (4th)54/220 [24.6%] (3rd)
PENALTY KILL [%] (Rank):138/180 [76.7%] (26th)159/198 [80.3%] (t-16th)
SHOTS (Rank):2142 (4th)1963 (22nd)
5-on-5 SHOT ATTEMPTS FOR (Rank):3241 (3rd)2763 (24th)
5-on-5 SHOT ATTEMPT % (Rank):52.2% (6th)48.3% (22nd)
FACEOFF % (Rank):52.7% (3rd)54.1% (2nd)

MAPLE LEAFS – CANUCKS NOTES

First Matchup between Clubs:October 11, 1970 (Vancouver 5, Toronto 3)
All-Time Record:60-62-22-3 (147 Games)
All-Time Record at Home:34-25-11-1 (71 Games)
All-Time Record on the Road:26-37-11-2 (76 Games)
Last Win vs. Opponent at Home:January 5, 2019 (Toronto 5, Vancouver 0)
  

MAPLE LEAFS MILESTONES vs. CANUCKS

Kyle CliffordFirst NHL game (Oct. 9, 2010 (LAK) at VAN)
Travis DermottFirst NHL game (Jan. 6, 2018 vs. VAN)
First NHL point (Assist) (Jan. 6, 2018 vs. VAN)
Mitch Marner200th NHL game (Jan. 5, 2019 vs. VAN)
Jake MuzzinFirst NHL game (Oct. 9, 2010 (LAK) at VAN)
First NHL point (Assist) (Oct. 15, 2010 (LAK) at VAN)
  

MAPLE LEAFS LEADERS

CATEGORYLEADER
GOALS44 (Matthews)
ASSISTS47 (Marner)
POINTS76 (Matthews)
POWER PLAY POINTS24 (Matthews)
SHORTHANDED POINTS(Engvall, Kapanen)
PIMs40 (Muzzin)
SHOTS265 (Matthews)
FACEOFF WIN%55.7% (Gauthier)
5-on-5 SHOT ATTEMPT %54.9% (Nylander)
BLOCKED SHOTS110 (Muzzin)
TAKEAWAYS72 (Matthews)
HITS109 (Muzzin)
TOI PER GAME24:15 (Rielly)
PP TOI PER GAME3:06 (Marner)
SH TOI PER GAME2:50 (Ceci)

MAPLE LEAFS SNAPSHOTS

Faceoffs– The Maple Leafs rank third among NHL teams in faceoff win percentage (52.7%) and are second among NHL teams in offensive zone faceoff win percentage (54.0%).
Goals by Strength– The Maple Leafs hold the NHL lead in goals scored at 5-on-5 (154).
Goals by Period– Toronto is tied for second in the NHL in goals scored in the second period (84) and are tied for sixth in the NHL in goals scored in the third period (75).
Power Play– The Maple Leafs are the lone NHL team to score at least 40 power play goals (43) with fewer than 180 power play opportunities (177).
Penalty Kill– Toronto has been shorthanded 180 times this season, which is the eighth-fewest times shorthanded in the NHL.
Scoring First– Toronto has a .767 win percentage when scoring first, which is tied for the fifth-highest in the NHL.

MAPLE LEAFS PLAYER NOTES

Frederik Andersen– Tied for third among NHL goaltenders in wins (27).- Ranks third in the NHL in saves (1,347).- Has a save percentage of .914 in 20 games played on one day rest.- Is 9-2-5 with a 1.52 goals-against average and a .943 save percentage in 16 career games against Vancouver.
Tyson Barrie– Has seven multi-assist games, which is tied for eighth-most among NHL defencemen.- Tied for fourth among NHL defencemen in multi-point games (11).
– Averages 14.57 shot attempts per game at 5-on-5, which is the fourth-highest average among NHL defencemen who have played in at least 50 games.- Ranks 18th among NHL defencemen in 5-on-5 time on ice per game (18:14).
Jack Campbell– Has a 3-0-1 record with a .919 save percentage and a 2.40 goals-against average since being acquired by the Maple Leafs.
Kyle Clifford– Seventh among NHL left wingers who have appeared in 50 games in 5-on-5 shot attempt percentage (54.5%).
– Averages 14.88 shot attempts per 60 minutes of ice time at 5-on-5, which ranks 17th among left wingers.- Ranks 9.76 hits per 60 minutes of ice time, which ranks 33rd among NHL skaters.
Pierre Engvall– Ninth among NHL rookie forwards who have appeared in 30 games in 5-on-5 shot attempt percentage (51.5%). – Has an on-ice goals-for percentage of 52.7 percent at 5-on-5, which is the eighth highest among NHL rookie forwards who have appeared in 30 games.- Ranks fifth among rookie forwards in 5-on-5 shot attempts per 60 minutes (13.62).
Justin Holl– Has started the eighth-lowest percentage of his 5-on-5 shifts (42.7%) in the offensive zone among right-handed defencemen.- Ranks second in 5-on-5 shot attempt percentage (52.0%) among NHL defencemen who have started less than 45 percent of their 5-on-5 shifts in the offensive zone (42.7%).- Has the highest unblocked shot attempt percentage at 5-on-5 (52.6%) among NHL defencemen to have started fewer than 45 percent (42.7%) of their shifts in the offensive zone.
Zach Hyman– Ranks fifth among Maple Leafs skaters in points per game (0.78).- Fourth among Toronto forwards in even-strength time on ice per game (16:04).- Ranks second among Toronto forwards in shorthanded time on ice per game (1:48).
Kasperi Kapanen– Has drawn 18 penalties this season and taken eight, which gives him the highest net penalties among Toronto skaters (+10) and ranks tied for 23rd among NHL forwards.- Ranks fourth among Maple Leafs and 11th among NHL right wingers who have appeared in 50 games in assists per 60 minutes of ice time (1.28) at 5-on-5.
Alex Kerfoot– Ranks second among Toronto skaters who have appeared in 50 games in assists per 60 minutes of ice time (1.32) at 5-on-5.- Tied for seventh among Maple Leafs in even-strength points (8-17-25).- Tied for second among Maple Leafs in primary assists at 5-on-5 (11).
Mitch Marner– Ninth among NHL skaters in assists (48).- Has 12 multi-assist games, which is tied for the sixth-most among NHL skaters.- Averaging 1.17 points per game, which is tied for the 15th-highest average in the NHL.- Averaging 1.84 assists per 60 minutes of ice time at 5-on-5, which is fifth among NHLers who have appeared in at least 50 games.- Tied for eighth in the NHL in primary assists (30).- Ranks fifth among NHL forwards in time on ice per game (21:28)
Auston Matthews– Second among NHL skaters in goals (44).- Leads the NHL with 33 even-strength goals.- Leads the NHL in goals scored at 5-on-5 (27).- Second in the NHL in wrist shot goals (26).- Second in the NHL in multi-goal games (10).- Tied for fifth in the NHL in multi-point games (24).- Ranks 11th among NHL skaters in points (44-32-76).- Fourth in the NHL with 259 shots on goal.
William Nylander– Leads the Maple Leafs and is tied for fifth among NHLers in game-winning goals (7).- One of 11 NHLers to average at least 14:00 minutes per game at 5-on-5 (14:31) while maintaining a goal per 60-minute rate of at least 1.20 (1.25).- Tied for eighth in the NHL in goals scored at 5-on-5 (19).- Ranks seventh among NHL forwards who average 14:00 per game (14:31) in 5-on-5 shot attempt percentage (54.9%).
Rasmus Sandin– Ranks 10th among rookie defencemen who have appeared in at least 10 games in points per 60 minutes of ice time (0.92) at 5-on-5. – Has a 5-on-5 shot attempt percentage of 54.1 percent, which ranks fourth among rookie defencemen who have skated in at least 10 games.
Jason Spezza– Averaging 2.13 points per 60 minutes of ice time at 5-on-5 this season, which is the fourth-highest average among Toronto skaters who have appeared in at least 40 games.- Averaging 0.83 goals per 60 minutes of ice time at 5-on-5 this season, which ranks fourth among Maple Leafs who have appeared in at least 40 games.- Averaging 1.30 assists per 60 minutes of ice time at 5-on-5, which is the third-highest average among Toronto skaters.
John Tavares– Tied for 20th among NHL skaters in multi-point games (17).- Has 18 points (8-8-16) in 14 games during the month of February.- Tied for 15th in the NHL in faceoff wins (564)- Had three points (2-1-3) in the first meeting between Toronto and Vancouver on December 10.- Has recorded 12 points (6-6-12) in 11 games against Pacific Division teams.
  

CURRENT POINT STREAKS

Mitch MarnerHas assists (2) in two consecutive games.
Auston MatthewsHas assists (2) and points (1-2-3) in two consecutive games.
William NylanderHas goals (2) in two consecutive games and points (3-3-6) in five consecutive games.
Jason SpezzaHas assists (2) in two consecutive games.
John TavaresHas points (3-3-6) in four consecutive games.
  

UPCOMING MILESTONES

Zach HymanThree games from 300 NHL games
Kasperi KapanenThree games from 200 NHL games
Mitch MarnerFive games from 300 NHL games
Jason SpezzaOne assist from 600 assists
  

RECENT MILESTONES

William Nylander300th NHL game (February 22 vs. Carolina)
  

INJURY REPORT

Cody Ceci (Ankle)On injured reserve.
Andreas Johnsson (Knee)On injured reserve.
Ilya Mikheyev (Wrist Laceration)On injured reserve.
Jake Muzzin (Hand)Sustained a broken hand on February 25 at Tampa Bay.
Morgan Rielly (Foot)On injured reserve.
 Man Games Lost: 177

RECENT TRANSACTIONS

February 26Recalled defenceman Calle Rosen from the Toronto Marlies (AHL).
February 24Loaned defenceman Kevin Gravel to the Toronto Marlies (AHL).
February 24Acquired forward Matt Lorito from the New York Islanders in exchange for defenceman Jordan Schmaltz.
February 24Acquired Vegas’ 2020 fifth-round pick in a three-team trade with Chicago and Vegas in exchange for forward Martins Dzierkals.
February 24Recalled defenceman Kevin Gravel from the Toronto Marlies (AHL).
February 24Acquired defenceman Calle Rosen from the Colorado Avalanche in exchange for goaltender Michael Hutchinson.
February 22Acquired forward Miikka Salomaki from the Nashville Predators in exchange for defenceman Ben Harpur.
  

MAPLE LEAFS 5, PANTHERS 3 — WHAT THEY SAID: “I think we just tried to stay resilient. Obviously, you get down early in the first, I think you just try to keep your composure and go out there and take it one shift at a time and just claw our way back. Obviously, it came down to the wire.” — AUSTON MATTHEWS.

HEAD COACH SHELDON KEEFE

On Kapanen providing a spark in the first period:

I thought – despite the score, we didn’t hate our start. I thought we had good legs, we had the puck a fair bit, we had some stuff happening in their end. They got the lead on us, obviously, but I just liked how our team wasn’t fazed by it, we were just talking on the bench that there was a lot of game left and we’ve got to stay with it. We were confident we’d get our chances throughout the game and we did. It started with the power play goal – I don’t think it registered as a power play goal, but it is in my eyes and Kappy finished it. I’m starting to lose track of how many games in a row now for Kappy, but he’s playing at a different level for us right now. It’s making a difference.

On tonight’s performance as the type of team defence he wants to see:

I thought so, especially once we settled into the game. In the early going, especially with the seventh defenceman, we were trying to find the right mix and what the mix is going to be and how it’s going to flow. I think when you go with the seven defence like that you just sort of let it evolve. You can’t make too much of a plan, you’ve just got to kind of see. I think it took a little bit of time for that to settle and that helped our team once we did settle it down. The big thing I’ll take away from the game, of course, is just how we didn’t fold. The last time we came in here the game got away on us and today we didn’t let it happen.

On if Kapanen’s recent play is related to being disciplined by the team earlier in the season:

No, I don’t. I think it’s more in response to him recognizing what’s happening in the season and how important it is and how important the games are. He, like a lot of the guys on our team, haven’t been happy with their play or our play as a team. We’ve asked everybody just to give us a little bit more. He’s given us lots.

On the play of Holl and Dermott:

They did an excellent job. Today, they’re matched up against the Barkov line and, I mean, it’s the entire group doing a job against them, but I think that line ends up off the scoresheet and is minus-2 on the night. That was our greatest challenge going into the game, is how we were going to manage players of that level with the defencemen that we were missing, and those guys did an excellent job. Our whole team did. The Matthews line did too good of a job against them from their perspective, so they had to change the matchup and they got away from it and they mixed it up and got Matthews away from them. The other guys we had playing against them, whoever it was, just went out and did the job. Collectively we played well against those guys, I thought. Dermott and Holl dug in. Certainly Tyson Barrie battled hard and did a lot of good things for us today. He’s been doing what we needed him to do.

On if Holl’s empty net goal is a ‘feel-good moment’:

Yeah, it is. For sure. You’re just happy it gets out, first of all. You get a little bit of breathing room. You don’t really think – just the way it leaves his stick – that it’s going to go in and then you see it curve. It’s funny, those empty nets goals work in funny ways. You can get rewarded and I think sometimes the luck just seems to go for you. Deserved for [Holl].

FREDERIK ANDERSEN (23 SAVES)

On what the turning point of tonight’s game was:

I think [Kapanen] had a nice fight and we really responded to that first period. I think the guys came out and played really hard for me. Got that deficit back and huge credit to them. They played a great game.

On the play of the defence:

I think especially in the second and third period they were unbelievable. Even in the first as well, they didn’t really panic or anything once they got their lead and we just kind of kept going. Huge credit to the guys for evening it up that quick.

AUSTON MATTHEWS (1 GOAL, 1 ASSIST)

On tonight’s come-from-behind win:

I think we just tried to stay resilient. Obviously, you get down early in the first, I think you just try to keep your composure and go out there and take it one shift at a time and just claw our way back. Obviously, it came down to the wire.

On what led to his line playing well:

I think we were just taking care of the puck. We were forechecking a little harder. They hold the line well so you’ve kind of got to put the puck in behind them and try and go get it so I thought we did a pretty good job with that. We didn’t force too many pucks. We just worked hard out there and created chances and obviously we were able to capitalize on a couple.

WILLIAM NYLANDER (1 GOAL)

On what led to the Maple Leafs taking over the game in the second period:

I think we got them, they had the far change there, and we were able to – once they got it out – just go right back in the O-zone and spend some heavy shifts in the O-zone, which was good.

On Kapanen’s fight:

When you see that it obviously fires you up and gets you going. It’s great. He’s been able to add a little bit extra to the team, which is great.

On how important it was to spend time in Florida’s end to take pressure of the Maple Leafs defence:

I think our D have been playing great, but obviously it’s great to spend time in the O-zone. I think that’s where we kept their best players out of our D-zone, which helped us a lot.