The Predators win streak came to an emphatic end tonight in Toronto. They fell to the Maple Leafs by a score of 6-2. James van Riemsdyk had a hat trick and Mitch Marner had three points to lead the Leafs.
In the 1st period, Mitch Marner and James van Riemsdyk scored to put the Leafs up 2-0. With Marek Mazanec in net, the Predators needed to provide some extra defensive support and they didn’t really do that. There were plenty more chances for the Leafs to score and Maz had to make 9 more saves in the period to keep the game close. Late in the period, the Preds would get on the board as Ryan Johansen fed James Neal a pass right on the doorstep. It was 2-1 going into the first intermission.
The 2nd period started off with a nasty hit from Roman Polak on Filip Forsberg. After some shoddy referee work, including no call on Polak for the hit, the Leafs take a 3-1 lead on another goal by van Riemsdyk. The Predators kept climbing uphill the rest of the 2nd period, eventually making it a 3-2 game on a breakaway goal by Viktor Arvidsson.
Things were looking up in the 3rd period, but then they were looking very, very down. The Leafs capitalized on some traffic in front of Mazanec and Leo Komarov deflected a puck into the net to make it 4-2. Then van Riemsdyk finished the hat trick to make it 5-2 and William Nylander scored to make it 6-2. It was getting ugly quick for the defense and for Maz.
With Rinne out with a LBI, starting Mazanec was an iffy call and he played ok for about 40% of the game. After the early goal by Marner, he settled in nicely. The finish was very, very ugly. The clamors for Saros will only grow after tonight.
On to the nation’s capital!
- Marek Mazanec getting the start in this one and... oh. He gave up a tough angle goal to Mitch Marner. Hmm. Not good.
- Anyway, like I was saying, Mazanec is starting in this game for the first time since... Oh. Wow. Another goal, this time to James Van Riemsdyk. Not good at all. Tough luck on the puck deflecting right to him, but still he was realllly late on that glove side.
- The Predators will need to dig their way out of an early, just like in most of their games this year. Unlike most of their games this year, the other team is actually putting the puck in the net. The 2-0 deficit in the 1st period seems large considering the Leafs look really comfortable right now.
- Except for when Ryan Johansen does Ryan Johansen things!! What a sick pass to setup James Neal, who now has a goal in five straight games.
- The Preds starting to come to life in this 2nd period. I like the combination of Joey and Neal right now, plus Arvidsson is just everywhere.
- WHAT? Filip Forsberg is very clearly boarded (roughing, boarding, SOMETHING) but no call. Fisher starts a fight with Polak and gets called for instigating. No penalty to Polak other than fighting. So that’s 17 minutes for Fisher, 5 minutes for Polak, when Polak could have easily seriously injured Forsberg (he looks ok, he stayed in the game). Unbelievable no-call there.
- Soon after that, JVR scores again and it’s 3-1 Leafs. I am so angry right now.
- ARVY!! He is such a fun combination of skill and effort. Moments after he pulls a sick move and almost scores (see tweets below) he gets a breakaway on a pass from Colin Wilson and scores on Andersen. It’s 3-2 and the Preds are buzzing at the end of the 2nd.
- 3rd Period started well, but the Leafs were able to capitalize more than the Preds. Not enough finishing in this one for the good guys.
- Uh... what just happened. The Leafs are scoring lots of goals now.
- Yuck. Finish the game, please. Just end it.
OTF’s Super Duper Stars of the Game
- Viktor Arvidsson: This guy was the best player for the Preds tonight. So much action out there. 4 shots on net, 1 goal in 18:25 TOI
- Ryan Johansen: A nifty pass to set up the Neal goal. He was dishing it well tonight, just needs to start scoring.
- James Neal: Scoring in 5 consecutive games is cool.
Tweets of the Night
Neal has two guys on him and his feet on the goal line and still scores. OK.— Jim Diamond (@diamondhockey) November 16, 2016
Is this my punishment for positivity >_<— Marya (@_marya_k) November 16, 2016
Marek Mazanithoughthewasthegoalieofthefuturebutnotanymore.— Mark Harris (@MCHisTweeting) November 16, 2016