Spectators at Scotiabank Arena witnessed a truly exciting game on Wednesday, with the Maple Leafs losing the game against the Chicago Blackhawks 5-4. The start of the match was chaotic for the home team, who was four goals behind at the end of the first period. The Maple Leafs attempted to get back into the game, but they simply didn’t have enough time for a comeback.
Commenting on his team’s opening, Toronto centre John Tavares said it was pretty ugly, and he was definitely right. The Blackhawks were leading 5-0 late in the second period when the Leafs finally woke up, giving us a real thriller in the game’s final period.
They did have only one day off after a series of three games across Western Canada, but that can hardly be an excuse for the disastrous start of the match.
Brendan Perlini, Brandon Saad, Duncan Keith, Dominik Kahun and Alex DeBrincat were on the scoresheet for Chicago, with two assists from Dylan Strome. The 30th win of the season for the Blackhawks brought the team one step closer to the second wild-card spot in the Western Conference. After winning this game, they are only four points behind the Arizona Coyotes.
Not Enough Time for a Comeback
Auston Matthews, Moran Rielly, Andreas Johnsson and John Tavares scored for the Leafs. Frederik Andersen conceded 4 goals from 14 shots in the first period, when Garret Sparks took over, finishing the game with a total of 24 saves.
The first goal of the match was scored by Keith at 3:19, while Perlini made it 2-0 at 12:55. After a quick brake, Kahun increased the Blackhawks’ lead to three at 17:13. Before the period ended, Saad scored his 23rd of the season to make it 4-0.
It was the first time this season Toronto conceded four goals in a period, while the last time the Maple Leafs did so in the first period of a game played at home, was more than a decade ago.
Alex DeBrincat scored a goal at 12:32 of the second period to make it 5-0. Toronto finally scored 1:33 before the end of the second period. Matthews celebrated his 200th game with a goal, his 32nd of the season, while Rielly made it 5-3 at 10:55.
It was 5-4 with 1:31 left on the clock after Tavares scored his 39th goal of the season. The Maple Leafs had two chances before the end, but Matthews and Nazem Kadri didn’t manage to bring their team a late equalizer.