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Leafs head to Florida focused on improvement

by Staff Writer MapleLeafs / MapleLeafs.com

As the Maple Leafs stepped off the ice after practice Wednesday - and before the team headed out to Florida for games against the Tampa Bay Lightning Thursday and the Florida Panthers Friday - both the coaching staff and the players were resolute in finding improvement in their game and ending a two-game losing streak.

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Takeaways - Leafs vs. Avalanche - 1/14/19

Leafs build two-goal lead early, but fall 6-3 to Avs

by Adam Proteau / MapleLeafs.com

LEAFS SCORE GAME'S FIRST TWO GOALS, ALLOW THREE BEFORE END OF SECOND

 

Neither the Maple Leafs nor the visiting Colorado Avalanche scored in the first period Monday, but the middle frame featured five goals scored - three of them by the Avs.

 

The first two, however, were scored by the Leafs. The opening goal of the night was netted by blueliner Igor Ozhiganov, who snapped a shot through traffic and past goaltender Semyon Varlamo at 2:14 of the second:

 

Video: COL@TOR: Ozhiganov roofs goals from the point

 

Ozhiganov's goal was his third of the season, and the first of two quick goals by Toronto in the period. Seconds after a disallowed Leafs goal by winger Par Lindholm, the Leafs went up 2-0 at the 3:28 mark on Kasperi Kapanen's 15th goal of the year:

 

Video: COL@TOR: Johnsson connects with Kapanen for tally

 

Unfortunately for the Scotiabank Arena crowd, the Leafs' lead wouldn't survive the end of the period. The Avalanche netted three goals in eight minutes of the second frame - including a shorthanded marker by forward Carl Soderberg at 14:29 - and suddenly, the home side was on its heels as the third period began.

 

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Leafs sign Moore to two-year contract extension

by Staff Writer MapleLeafs / MapleLeafs.com

The Toronto Maple Leafs announced today that the hockey club has signed forward Trevor Moore to a two-year contract extension, which carries an average annual value of $775,000 ($750,000 in 2019-20, $800,000 in 2020-21).

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Takeaways - Leafs vs. Bruins - 1/12/19

Leafs battle hard, but fall to Bruins 3-2

by Adam Proteau / MapleLeafs.com

AFTER GIVING UP GAME'S FIRST GOAL, LEAFS STORM BACK IN SECOND WITH TWO

 

The Maple Leafs have had difficulty generating offence at home of late, and although they dominated the shot counter in the first period against Boston Saturday - outshooting the Bruins 15-9 in the opening frame - it was the visitors who entered the second period with a 1-0 lead (on a goal scored with only 1:39 left in the period).

However, Toronto continued to plug away in the second period, and they netted their first goal against Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask at 7:37 of the second when winger Andreas Johnsson's shot trickled through Rask's legs and into Boston's net:

 

Video: BOS@TOR: Johnsson banks in goal off defender

 

Johnsson's goal was his 10th of the season - and less than two minutes after he scored, the Leafs took advantage of their first power play of the night when winger Mitch Marner ripped a shot high and over Rask for his 17th goal of the year:

 

Video: BOS@TOR: Marner rings in power-play goal off the post

 

Marner's goal put Toronto ahead, but not for long: five minutes and 17 seconds after the Leafs took the lead, the Bruins tied it on a goal by forward Sean Kuraly; and with only 15 seconds left in the second period, Kuraly made a slick pass to sniper David Pastrnak, who snapped it past Leafs goalie Michael Hutchinson for his 26th goal of the year.

 

Giving up a late goal in both the first and second frame was the difference between the Leafs entering the third with a lead and Toronto trailing. But because of the lapses in focus and structure, it was the latter situation facing the Buds.

 

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Coming off win, Leafs feel good heading into test against Bruins

by Adam Proteau Proteautype / MapleLeafs.com

The Maple Leafs had no time to celebrate Thursday's victory over New Jersey - they were back at their west-Toronto practice facility Friday afternoon, readying themselves for a home game Saturday night against the Boston Bruins. Besides being a division rival, the Bruins are, like the Leafs, 7-3-0 in their past 10 games, meaning Toronto will have to play at its peak if they wish to win their second in a row.

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Maple Leafs Acquire Gagne from Senators

by Staff Writer MapleLeafs / MapleLeafs.com

The Toronto Maple Leafs announced today that the hockey club has acquired forward Gabriel Gagne from Ottawa in exchange for forward Morgan Klimchuk.

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Takeaways - Leafs at Devils - 10/01/19

Leafs start strong, finish off Devils in 4-2 victory

by Adam Proteau proteautype / MapleLeafs.com

WITH TWO GOALS FROM TAVARES, LEAFS FINISH FIRST PERIOD IN CONTROL WITH 3-0 LEAD

 

The Maple Leafs were in New Jersey looking for a victory Thursday, and trying to turn around a trend that's seen them lose three of their past four games. And in the opening period, the Buds were focused and determined - outshooting the Devils 15-8 - and scored the only three goals of the frame.

The first goal came off the stick of defenceman Ron Hainsey, whose slap shot from the point beat Devils goaltender Keith Kinkaid at 4:30 of the first:

 

Video: TOR@NJD: Hainsey nets opener with heavy slap shot

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Takeaways - Leafs vs. Predators - 1/7/19

Leafs battle hard, but fall to Predators 4-0

by Adam Proteau / MapleLeafs.com

AFTER SCORELESS FIRST PERIOD, PREDS BREAK OUT WITH TWO GOALS IN SECOND

 

Toronto was playing the first game of the second half of their regular season, and their final game of a four-game home stand at Scotiabank Arena. And after a scoreless first period with the Predators, the Leafs found themselves trailing 1-0 at 4:08 of the second frame after blueliner Mattias Ekholm scored his fifth goal of the year - a power play marker that beat goalie Michael Hutchinson on a shot from the point through traffic.

 

The Leafs believed they'd tied the score when centre Auston Matthews tapped a brilliant backhanded pass from winger Andreas Johnsson into an open Preds net, but Nashville challenged the scoring play as offside, and the on-ice officials agreed with them and Matthews' goal did not count.

 

That gave the visitors an opportunity to extend their lead before the second intermission, and that's what Predators D-man P.K. Subban did when his slap shot from the blueline beat Hutchinson for Subban's fourth goal of the season and a 2-0 lead. Toronto had a number of quality scoring chances despite only registering 14 shots through two periods - for instance, Matthews hit the post early in the first period - but netminder Pekka Rinne was solid when he had to be, and fortunate on a few occasions, and the Buds started the third frame trailing by a pair.

 

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Takeaways - Leafs vs. Canucks - 1/5/19

Leafs get back on winning track, beat Canucks 5-0

by Adam Proteau / MapleLeafs.com

TAVARES GIVES BUDS 1-0 LEAD WITH GOAL MIDWAY THROUGH OPENING PERIOD

 

Toronto was aiming to end a two-game losing streak, and the Leafs got off to a tremendous start Saturday when centre John Tavares deftly redirected a shot from the point by blueliner Morgan Rielly and past Vancouver goalie Jacob Markstrom for Tavares' team-leading 27th goal of the season at the 8:54 mark of the first period:

 

Video: VAN@TOR: Tavares deflects shot past Markstrom

 

The goal stopped a modest two-game goalless streak for Tavares, who hasn't gone more than two games in a row without scoring since Nov. 1. And the assist was Rielly's 32nd of the year, putting him behind only winger Mitch Marner (who entered Saturday's game with 40 assists) for the team lead in that category.

 

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Takeaways - Leafs vs. Wild - 1/3/19

Leafs start strong, but fall to Wild 4-3

by Adam Proteau / MapleLeafs.com

MARNER, LEAFS HAVE TREMENDOUS START TO "NEXT GEN" GAME

 

The Maple Leafs were playing a weekday game with an extremely rare 2 p.m. start, and it was for good reason - the organization was putting on its very first "Next Gen" Game, celebrating the youngsters who'll be carrying their love of the sport into the years to come. And the Buds immediately gave the thousands of kids in attendance something to cheer for, when winger Mitch Marner broke into Minnesota's zone off the opening faceoff and put a backhanded shot past Wild goaltender Devan Dubnyk for a 1-0 Leafs lead just seven seconds into the period:

 

Video: MIN@TOR: Marner nets a backhander seven seconds in

 

Marner tied a Leafs franchise record for fastest goal to start a game - the other Leaf to do so was franchise icon Charlie Conacher in 1932 against the Boston Bruins - but he wasn't done putting up points in the opening frame. Indeed, at the 5:38 mark of the first, Marner was part of a 3-on-2 Toronto rush, and he and centre John Tavares played a quick game of give-and-go that resulted in Marner scoring his second of the game and his 15th of the season:

 

Video: MIN@TOR: Marner cashes in off a feed from Tavares

 

Tavares earned the primary assist on Marner's second goal, as well as the secondary assist on Marner's first goal. And although Minnesota controlled the second half of the first period - outshooting Toronto 19-10 in the period - new Leafs goalie Michael Hutchinson (recalled from the Marlies on an emergency basis to replace injured netminder Garret Sparks) stopped all but one shot and the Buds carried a 2-1 lead into the first intermission.

 

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