The Maple Leafs overcame 2-0 and 3-2 deficits to win 4-3 on a Joffrey Lupul game winner 55 seconds into three-on-three overtime.
Goals: Dion Phaneuf, TJ Brennan, Joffrey Lupul x2
Goalie splits: James Reimer – 21 saves on 24 shots (.875) / Garret Sparks – 8 saves on 8 shots (1.00).
We’re not going to get into in-depth game/team commentary until the group is pared down and the roster starts to take shape, but here are some player notes.
– Engaged from puck drop, Joffrey Lupul certainly wasn’t going through the motions in game one of preseason. He drew the penalty that got the Leafs on the board late in the first by going hard to the net and earning a cross-checking call off Max McCormick. All told, he put six shots on goal in 18 minutes of action and scored twice, including the game winner. The damage could’ve been three or four, including a great chance he generated for himself after sidestepping a few Sens with a nice move at the offensive blueline, breaking in alone and forcing a great save out of Anderson.
– It’s too early to say, but I was looking for some added explosiveness from Kadri – some evidence of an added half step after the offseason – and didn’t notice much in that regard tonight. He still made some things happen offensively, having a hand in both Lupul goals. Overall, that line of Kadri, Lupul and Matthias was pretty effective. Matthias was highly involved early, mustering four first period shots on goal, and got his nose dirty driving the net throughout (he complemented that duo in a similar fashion to Daniel Winnik in the past).
– Mark Arcobello had a quietly good game, with a committed effort defensively. His support play in the defensive zone was strong, with and without the puck. The Leafs might not win this game if he doesn’t dig deep on the backcheck on a late partial breakaway for the Senators. His offensive involvement wasn’t extensive, but he grabbed a secondary assist on Phaneuf’s PP goal and it looked like he had the game winner when he rang the crossbar with a minute and a half to go.
– Glencross made his presence known physically in this game, laying the body often – six hits total including one board-rattler in the second period.
– It was a two point game from TJ Brennan – no one can take his point shot away from him – but his feet are going to continue to keep him from regular NHL duty, as he’s still too often at risk of getting beat to the outside.
– Kasperi Kapanen was fighting the puck in the first half of the game, but came to life as the sixty minutes wore on. He took a stretch pass from Dion Phaneuf after taking off in transition before feathering a nice saucer pass in to Brad Boyes for a prime chance. He later plucked a pass out of midair at the defensive blueline and led the rush down ice for a scoring chance, but couldn’t solve Matt O’Connor.
– Dmytro Timashov had his good moments (two assists, drew a penalty in the first with a nice sidestep move) and bad (some missed passes and bobbled pass receptions), but overall it was impressive how involved he was for an 18 year old getting his first (albeit watered-down) taste of the NHL. The Leafs are using four forwards on the powerplay and it afforded him lots of 5v4 time — he led the team with over three and a half minutes on the man advantage. He looked particularly good working out of the corners and surveying the ice. 5’11 is generous when it comes to his height listing, but he’s got some nice skills, vision, and a puck poise that belies his years. He’s more quick/evasive than fast, but I’m eager to see how he looks in a few years time after he adds strength and an extra step.
– James Reimer had some rust to shake off: He was the last one at fault on the Shane Prince tally generated off some Erik Karlsson magic, but he should have had the Bobby Ryan goal that went in along the ice through the five hole with a minimal screen, and he was deep in the crease on Karlsson’s goal off a stoppable point shot.
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