Frederik Andersen Shines In Shootout Win Over Flames

Published December 6, 2017 at 10:53 PM

"The Toronto Maple Leafs did not play their best game of the season, but some great goaltending and a couple of fortunate bounces led to two points.

One of the biggest problems for the Maple Leafs this season has been slow starts and that was an issue yet again on Wednesday night. The Flames had 11 of the first 15 shots of the game and opened the scoring with a power play goal at 10:37.

With Matt Martin in the penalty box for holding, defenseman Mark Giordano walked down the blue line and waited for Troy Brouwer to get to the front of the net before firing a wrist shot through the screen to take a 1-0 lead.

With his team held off the scoreboard late in the second period, Mike Babcock decided to mix up his lines including putting William Nylander on the top line with Auston Matthews.

It was a lucky bounce and not the line changes that gave the Leafs their first goal of the game with just over a minute remaining in the middle frame. Morgan Rielly's dump in pass took a funny bounce off the end boards and went right in front of the Flames net. This sent everyone in a white sweater scrambling and the puck found Rielly's stick again along the left boards where he flicked a wrist shot through traffic that beat Mike Smith to the short side.

The Leafs got another fortunate break about five minutes into the third period. Sean Monahan got the puck in behind Frederik Andersen, but the net came off its moorings before the shot crossed the goal line and the goal was waved off. After a quick review, the call on the ice was upheld.

The game headed to a shootout after a scoreless 3-on-3 overtime period. Auston Matthews scored on the very first shot and was answered by Matthew Tkachuk in the second round. William Nylander scored in the fourth round before Mikael Backlund was denied by Andersen to grab the extra point.

The Leafs gave up 48 shots on goal tonight, marking the fifth time this season (all within the last 10 games) in which they gave up at least 40 shots. Andersen has picked up his game since the start of November, but that doesn't mean he needs to face 40+ shots every other night.

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