Toronto Maple Leafs blast over 50 shots in loss against the Vancouver Canucks
By Neil Becker
The story begins and ends with Vancouver Canucks star goalie Thatcher Demko’s performance.
Demko wrote another chapter to what has been a career year when on Saturday night at Rogers Arena, he made 51 saves in leading his team to a 3-2 win against the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Leafs, who had forward Wayne Simmonds back in the lineup, went with second-stringer Petr Mrazek in goal who was a little less busy in facing only 24 shots. After kicking off this current three-game road swing with a Thursday night loss against the Calgary Flames, Toronto was hoping to make an early Saturday night statement against the Canucks.
Leading the Canucks offensive charge was forward J.T. Miller who scored his 29th goal at the 1:29 mark before just under five minutes later earning an assist in helping the Canucks get off to a 2-0 first period lead. Toronto, who haven’t since October lost consecutive games, struck for two-second period goals from Austin Matthews with his 32nd followed with under five minutes left in the first by veteran Ondrej Kase who tallied his ninth which made it a brand new- game.
Showing strong resiliency, Vancouver scored the eventual game winner which came 18:30 into the second when forward Juho Lammikko scored his fourth in giving the Canucks a 3-2 lead after 40 minutes of regulation. Realistically, the Leafs did everything but score in the third as they generated 17 shots but couldn’t get the equalizer as they went on to suffer a hard luck Saturday night loss out in Vancouver. The Leafs will finish up their three- game road trip with a visit to Seattle’s Climate Pledge Arena for a Monday night 9 p.m. puck drop against the expansion Seattle Kraken.
1st. Period TOR- VAN
1:29 J.T. Miller (17) 0 – 1
Bo Horvat (12), Brock Boeser (13)
6:00 PPG- Brock Boeser (14)
Oliver Ekman-Larsson (10), J.T. Miller (31) 0 – 2
2nd Period TOR – VAN
12:46 PPG- Auston Matthews (32) 1- 2
John Tavares (27), William Nylander (26)
15:41 PPG Ondrej Kase (9) 2 – 2
Jason Spezza (7), Rasmus Sandin (10)
18:30 Juho Lammikko (4) 2 – 3
Alex Chiasson (5), Tyler Motte (5)