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Five Takeaways - Leafs vs. Kings -10/23/17

Here are five takeaways from the Maple Leafs' 3-2 victory over the Los Angeles Kings Monday at Air Canada Centre:

by Adam Proteau / MapleLeafs.com

Martin's nice deflection in front

LAK@TOR: Martin deflects point shot past Quick

Roman Polak launches a rocket from the point that deflects off Matt Martin before squeezing past Jonathan Quick for a 1-0 Maple Leafs lead

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1. Martin's first of the season helps Leafs overcome Kings' early push, claim lead after opening period. The Kings traveled to Air Canada Centre riding a four-game win streak and leading the Pacific Division with a 6-0-1 record, and used their size and strength to get 17 shots on Leafs goalie Frederik Andersen in the opening period of Monday's game. But Andersen was sharp and turned aside all of them, and it was the Leafs who found a way to get on the scoreboard first: winger Mitch Marner carried the puck into Los Angeles' zone, around behind the back of the net, and fired it back toward the blueline, where defenceman Roman Polak - playing in his first regular-season game after signing a one-year contract Sunday - blasted it toward the Kings' net.

Goaltender Jonathan Quick looked to have gotten most of the puck, but winger Matt Martin managed to deflect just enough of it to get it dribbling past the veteran goalie and into the net to give Toronto a 1-0 lead at the 5:46 mark. The Leafs generated 10 shots on Quick in the period and came close to extending their advantage a couple times, but Andersen's strong play kept them from dealing with a tie - or worse - heading into the middle frame.

Video: LAK@TOR: Bozak jams home rebound at the doorstep

2. Kings, Buds each find scoresheet in back-and-forth middle frame, but Toronto holds advantage entering third. The Leafs ramped up the pressure on the Kings in the second, outshooting the visitors 15-12 and staking out a 2-0 lead on centre Tyler Bozak's second goal of the season - a power play marker - at 14:44 of the middle frame. However, 58 seconds after Bozak's goal, L.A. winger Adrian Kempe netted his fourth of the year to pull the visitors within a single goal of the Buds heading into the third.

Andersen and Quick both deserved credit in the second for strong saves that prevented more offence from being registered, but the Leafs more than held their own against a Kings squad that had no qualms about being physical. In particular, blueliner Andreas Borgman laid a massive hit on L.A. counterpart Jake Muzzin along the end boards behind the Kings' net that showed Toronto would not be intimidated.
 

Video: LAK@TOR: Marleau deflects puck past Quick

3. After one video review denies them a goal, Leafs get their third of the game on another review. Toronto thought it had its third goal of the night some two minutes into the third period, but winger Mitch Marner's marker was ruled no goal after a video review led to the on-ice officials calling goalie interference on Quick. However, only a few shifts later, blueliner Morgan Rielly fired the puck from the offensive-zone blueline and winger Patrick Marleau tipped it in at the 2:46 mark.

Once again, the Kings challenged the goal, but this time around, video review resulted in the goal counting, and Marleau had his team-leading seventh assist of the year. It also marked the eighth time this season Toronto has scored at least three goals; the one time they didn't get that many was a 2-0 win over Washington Oct. 17.


4. Lewis' shorthanded marker pulls Kings within a goal late in third. Toronto's power play got its fifth opportunity of the game at the 12:07 mark of the third when Dustin Brown was called for high-sticking. But at the very beginning of the man advantage, centre Trevor Lewis took over control of the puck at the Kings' blueline and raced off for a breakaway that ended with him scoring his third of the season to cut the Leafs' lead to a single goal.

Leafs head coach Mike Babcock will never be pleased to see an opponent score, but giving up a goal with the extra man is always a little more frustrating. It was only Toronto's second shorthanded goal-against of the year - by comparison, the Buffalo Sabres lead the NHL with six in that department - but the Buds will surely work on being more careful with the puck.

5. Andersen holds the fort as Leafs get back in the win column. The two teams played a fairly even final regulation period, but the Kings took a costly penalty with 2:05 left in the third when Quick lashed out at winger Leo Komarov and was called for roughing. That put L.A. on the defensive and kept them from pulling Quick for the extra man until there was less than a minute remaining, and Andersen was stellar throughout the period to help hand the Kings their first regulation loss of the season.

The Leafs have a day of practice before returning to action Thursday at the ACC to take on the Carolina Hurricanes. They're an improved squad, but if Toronto comes up with another smart, sustained effort like they put in against the Kings, the Leafs could be looking at their eighth win in their first ten games of the 2017-18 campaign. Not shabby at all.

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