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Maple Leafs Mistakes Haunt Them In Florida

Published February 27, 2018 at 10:34 PM
BY

"For the second straight night in the state of Florida, the Toronto Maple Leafs will leave the rink with just one point. After a shootout loss at the Lightning last night, the Leafs lost in overtime to the Panthers on Tuesday.
The Panthers scored the lone goal of the first period, while on the power play, at 11:02. For some reason, both Nikita Zaitsev and Ron Hainsey decided to go behind the net, which left Aleksander Barkov wide-open out front where he took a pass from Jonathan Huberdeau and slammed into the Maple Leafs net.
Huberdeau doubled the Panthers lead less than two minutes into the second period as he got Curtis McElhinney down, deked around his right pad and slid it under Tomas Plekanec's stick and just inside the far post.
Dominic Moore only had one goal since December 1 coming into tonight, but he got the Leafs on the board just over a minute after Huberdeau's tally. Moore set up shop at the side of the net and was rewarded with a loose puck that he swiped past Roberto Luongo, who was without of his stick. Kasperi Kapanen picked up the lone assist on Moore's sixth goal of the season.
Zach Hyman tied the game with his 12th goal of the season about 10 minutes later, but it was William Nylander who made the play. Nylander stole the puck from Evgenii Dadonov in the neutral zone, drove hard to the net and then dropped the puck back to Hyman who fired it past Luongo.
The Panthers got a late third period power play thanks to a delay of game penalty on Nylander and produced a ton of pressure, but McElhinney stepped up to keep the game tied and force overtime.
Jared McCann ended the game 3:46 into the extra time thanks to another poor decision by Zaitsev. The young defender decided to pinch at the Florida blue line, but McCann was able to tip the puck away from him and start heading the other way. After he blew right by Nazem Kadri, McCann beat McElhinney to the short side by putting the puck just over his pad and under the blocker.
The Boston Bruins erased a 3-1 deficit to beat the Carolina Hurricanes in overtime, so they move to just one point behind the Leafs for second place in the Atlantic Division with five games in hand.
The next time we see the Maple Leafs, they will be outdoors in Maryland taking on the Washington Capitals in the Stadium Series Saturday night. "



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