Matthews ends tight match with Flames, scoring in overtime for Maple Leafs win

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Sheldon Keefe can see into the longer term.


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For the Maple Leafs coach, what he mentioned on Friday morning got here true later that evening at Scotiabank Area.

The Calgary Flames arrived in Toronto having misplaced 4 of their 5 earlier video games, however hours earlier than the annual Corridor of Fame sport, Keefe shrugged on the guests’ latest misfortunes.

“Regardless win or lose, they’re taking part in very nicely as a group,” Keefe mentioned. “They’re deep group that performs structured. Offence is difficult to come back by, it’s important to defend rather well and anticipate it to be a low-scoring sport.”

That it was.

After all, your greatest gamers have to interrupt via that sort of factor, and Auston Matthews did precisely that at 2:32 of time beyond regulation.

Matthews’ snapshot eluded Flames goalie Dan Vladar, giving the house aspect a 2-1 victory.


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The Leafs gave the impression to be on their option to being shut out for the primary time this season when William Nylander wired a shot previous Vladar at 12:54 of the third, tying the sport 1-1. The purpose was Nylander’s eighth of the season, most among the many Leafs.

Flames defenceman Oliver Kylington scored at 4:55 of the third, ending an odd-man rush with a transfer to his backhand on Jack Campbell.

The Leafs, 6-1-0 of their earlier seven video games, had some beauty on Vladar, however, as Keefe figured would possibly occur, didn’t take pleasure in lengthy stretches of sustained stress.

Campbell completed with 31 saves. Vladar made 35 stops.

The Leafs failed to attain on their three energy performs, developing small after going 7-for-15 within the earlier six video games with a person benefit.


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“It has actually been in sync,” Keefe mentioned after the morning skate. “The blokes appear to be studying off one another the best way we would like them to they usually’re utilizing their talent and creativity and trusting the construction and the plan that’s put in place, but in addition there’s freedom inside that and people guys are in sync there.

“It’s one factor to have freedom and be roaming round and never be in sync after which it doesn’t look excellent and issues issues disintegrate, no one is aware of what’s occurring. They definitely appear to be on the identical web page of late.”

Simply not on Friday evening. Zone entries weren’t very good, and as soon as the Leafs did arrange within the offensive zone, Calgary did sufficient to be disruptive.

Shot on purpose within the second interval had been the identical as they had been within the first: 13-10 in favour of Toronto.


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The Leafs had some beauty within the center interval, however on the identical time, Vladar didn’t need to be spectacular. A few saves on Nylander stood out, and Matthews was left shaking his head after capturing excessive over the online following a couple of dekes to get previous Flames defenders. Fact be advised, we misplaced observe of the variety of instances the puck bounced over Matthews’ stick through the sport.

Rasmus Sandin, like all Leafs defenceman not named Jake Muzzin, was within the hunt for his first purpose of the season when Vladar made a pointy glove save on Sandin’s drive from the purpose.

David Kampf had a little bit of a tough go within the opening 20 minutes. He was rocked by Blake Coleman on successful within the impartial zone and briefly puzzled why a penalty was not referred to as; later, Kampf bumped into the again finish of Matt Tkachuk alongside the centre ice line and took a tumble.


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Leafs captain John Tavares was again within the Leafs lineup after sitting out in Philadelphia on Wednesday due to a lower-body damage. Kirill Semyonov, who took Tavares’ spot within the lineup and impressed, was a wholesome scratch.

In his earlier six video games, Tavares had 10 factors (six targets and 4 assists). The recent run got here after Tavares had simply three factors within the first seven video games of the 2021-22 season.

“Simply the truth that he stayed with it, didn’t get down on himself,” Keefe mentioned, referring to what he has appreciated about Tavares’ sport.

“He hasn’t missed a beat defensively. That’s one thing that we talked so much about final season, is the enhancements that John has made defensively and the way dependable and constant he has been.

“Whether or not he’s thriving and scoring at a excessive clip like he’s proper now, or whether or not it was not getting into for him early within the season, defensively, he has been nice for us.”



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