Sidney Crosby will play, but other Penguins will rest vs. Maple Leafs
- Author: Julie Sanders Apr 22, 2017,
Apr 22, 2017, 20:20
- Connor Brown scored his 20th goal of the season and the eventual victor less than three minutes later. Nikita Kucherov scored his 40th goal, and Alex Killorn added a goal.
With three days remaining in the National Hockey League regular season, there are still playoff races and individual titles to be settled.
"To be able to pull out this one was a pretty good feeling".
The Toronto Maple Leafs have a good chance of making the 2017 playoffs, but they've got to take care of business this weekend.
The Toronto Maple Leafs' loss to Columbus sends them to Washington to face the Presidents' Trophy-winning Capitals on the brutal Metropolitan Division side of the draw.
Sestito was assessed a minor penalty for goaltender interference at 2:05. "It's obviously a tough hill to climb, and we need a lot of things to go our way".
After the game, Toronto coach Mike Babcock said that ideally Andersen would start the regular-season finale against the Columbus Blue Jackets.
The Leafs coach described the playoff berth as momentous for not only the city and fans, but those young players who live on their phones and "know what everyone thinks and how excited everyone was".
And when Andersen was with Anaheim, he suffered a concussion last season. Two weeks earlier, the 27-year-old was hit in similar fashion by Sabres forward William Carrier, Andersen missing the ensuing start with an undisclosed upper body injury.
After Jake Guentzel put the Penguins ahead 3-2 with his 16th goal of the season on a harmless-looking shot that deflected off the skate of Maple Leafs defenseman Jake Gardiner at 6:51 of the third, the Maple Leafs battled back. Toronto has 95, but have to win or lose in overtime or a shootout to the Blue Jackets because Boston wins the tiebreaker with 42 regulation/overtime wins (ROW) compared to the Leafs 39.
Kasperi Kapanen scored his first career National Hockey League goal at 14:30 of the third when he was left uncovered at the right side of the net.
And if you're a member of Leafs Nation, you would have no doubt of the cruelty of the hockey gods. From there, the puck went between McElhinney's legs and into the net. A 23-7 edge in shot attempts in the opening period failed to break the 1-1 tie after 20 minutes. He's a guy who can score goals, but he plays away from the puck, he's strong on the puck, but he scores goals different ways. Bozak easily beat Fleury and the Leafs had a 2-1 lead at 3:30. He set a Leafs rookie record for minutes this season.
Leafs goalie Curtis McElhinney had been sharp, and stopped Sam Gagner on a point-blank shot while the Leafs were shorthanded following their second goal. Tormented by bad luck and at times hesitant to shoot during his scoring slump, he finally found satisfaction in front of the people, a lot of them in the media, who questioned his will to win and his conditioning during a six-season span in Toronto.
The Leafs are going to the playoffs for the first time since 2013, and Babcock stressed in the morning that it was because of a full team effort. After van Riemsdyk gave Toronto a two-goal lead almost seven minutes into the second frame, the Blue Jackets had a response ready to go. He got Toronto on the board with a shortside strike from the left circle, his second goal in as many games. van Riemsdyk came calling again 4:33 later, scoring his 29th of the season and establishing a new career-high of 62 points.
However, Toronto's blue line has been a bit leaky.