Toronto Maple Leafs goalie Jack Campbell calm, cool and collected in Leafs win
By Neil Becker
You can bet that Leafs Nation took a deep sigh of relief following the
Toronto Maple Leafs 4-1 Thursday night win at Scotiabank Arena against
the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Leafs goalie Jack Campbell, who is in the midst of a career season had a down
month in January where he registered a .880 save percentage. The 30- year-old
All-Star ended the month by being pulled after surrendering three goals on
nine shots in what turned out to be a 6-4 January 31st win against the New Jersey
Devils. He also had some recent rough games such as on February 10th when
he allowed five goals on 26 shots in a 5-2 loss against the Calgary Flames which
brought up the issue of possible fatigue.
Any questions of fatigue or a goalie controversy were on Thursday night answered
when a calm, cool, and collected Campbell made 45 saves in their win, which now
leaves them only four points behind Atlantic Division-leading Florida Panthers.
The Leafs, who this year were defeated twice in two games by the Penguins got
an early jump when 21 seconds into regulation forward Auston Matthews scored
his 33rd goal of the year on a breakaway. The goal, which now has him one behind
Edmonton Oilers Leon Draisaitl for the league lead also extended Matthew’s point
streak to nine games.
Pittsburgh, who came into town riding a six-game road winning streak surrendered
15 first period shots against Toronto but found themselves trailing only 1-0 heading
to the second period.
Playing in front of 8,139 fans, the Leafs, got some insurance when on the power play
defenceman Morgan Rielly performed his best Bobby Orr imitation by skating end to end
before scoring his sixth at the 5:31 mark of the second.
Rielly would go on to register his second point of the night when at the 18:36 mark of
the second he made a perfect pass on a two on one shorthanded break to forward David Kampf
who scored the third goal.
The Penguins staged a furious third-period push as they outshot the Leafs by a 19-8 margin
but were frustrated continuously by Campbell. They did however get
rewarded when veteran forward Evgeni Malkin at the 3:33 mark scored his sixth
which came off a rebound to cut the Leafs lead to 3-1. Less than three minutes later
Toronto added to the lead as scrappy forward Michael Bunting continued to his
career season by scoring his 16th goal which came off a backhander to round out the
The Leafs face another stiff challenge when on Saturday night they have a 7 p.m. puck
Drop at Scotiabank Arena against the St. Louis Blues.
1st. PERIOD PIT/TOR
0:21 Austin Matthews (33) 0 – 1
T.J. Brodie (9), Mitch Marner (27)
5:31 PPG- Morgan Rielly (6) 0 – 2
Jack Campbell (1)
18:36 SHG- Michael Bunting (16) 0 – 3
3:33 Evgeni Malkin (6) 1- 3
Jeff Carter (16)
6:06 Michael Bunting (16) 1 – 4Auston Matthews (26), Mitch Marner (28)