The Toronto Maple Leafs certainly can’t complain about fan support on this 3-game western swing with another tremendous showing from Leafs Nation witnessing a tight 3-2 victory at Rogers Place Saturday.
Toronto ends a successful road trip taking five of a possible 6 points to remain in the hunt for second place in the Atlantic Division race with the Bruins, who also won again.
John Tavares had a strong game for the visitors leading the way with a goal and two assists but it was the goaltending of Frederik Andersen making a number of brilliant saves to keep the Oilers off the score-sheet until late in the third.
Connor McDavid, who had a quiet evening for 58-minutes, found some room to set up Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Oscar Klefbom sending Leafs Nation into panic mode holding it’s collective breath for the remaining 52-seconds that should have been filed minutes earlier.
It was an entertaining affair with both sides exhibiting an ability to control play with 'keep away', but it was Toronto who was able to convert a couple chances to take a 2-goal lead into the third until Jake Muzzin converted a cross-ice feed to put them up by a field goal that should have sealed the deal.
They should know by now with the skill of teams like the Oilers you can’t take the foot off the gas pedal and before you can say Wayne Gretzky, it was a one-goal game.
Nazim Kadri returned after missing the previous 8-games playing very well taking his spot on the power play nearly converting an Auston Matthews 1-timer. He looked confident and should only take a few games to get up to game speed.
The Leafs did a good job containing the dangerous Edmonton forwards while still generating numerous scoring chances sending 40-shots at the home sides net.
The blue print for further success starts with this kind of responsibility that will only get tougher with 14-games to play.
The schedule doesn’t get any easier with Tampa up next followed by Chicago and Philadelphia, at Scotiabank Arena this week.