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Five Takeaways - Leafs at Hurricanes - 11/24/17

Here are five takeaways from the Maple Leafs' 5-4 win over the Carolina Hurricanes Friday at PNC Arena:

by Adam Proteau / MapleLeafs.com

Andersen's flashy glove save

TOR@CAR: Andersen robs Rask with terrific glove save

Frederik Andersen slides across and robs Victor Rask with a magnificent glove save, keeping the game scoreless late in the 1st period

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1. Andersen shines in first period, but Leafs skaters give up too many shots, generate too few. Toronto was playing the first of two games in as many nights and seeking to end a two-game losing streak, but there was no sense of urgency among Leafs skaters to start the night Friday in Carolina. The Hurricanes dominated possession, took advantage of Buds turnovers, and pressured the visitors into taking a pair of minor penalties. The Leafs couldn't match the Hurricanes' speed or willpower in the first 20 minutes of action, and managed just four shots on Cam Ward in that span.

The Canes could've led by three or four goals were it not for the play of Toronto netminder Frederik Andersen, who again looked dialled-in and dynamic in turning aside all 14 Carolina shots he saw in the opening period, including two from Hurricanes winger Teuvo Teravainen that were golden scoring chances. Andersen's performance is an especially bright spot right now, but the familiar recent pattern of slow Leafs starts to games continues to be an area of concern for head coach Mike Babcock.

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Five Takeaways - Leafs at Panthers -11/22/17

Here are five takeaways from the Maple Leafs' 2-1 shootout loss to the Florida Panthers Wednesday at BB&T Center:

by Adam Proteau / MapleLeafs.com

1. Familiar pattern in shots-on-goal department arises for Leafs in scoreless first period. The Leafs have had a penchant for being outshot by opponents this season - although the quality of the shots Toronto's goalies have faced has been lower in recent weeks. And that was true in the first half of the first period Wednesday: the Buds were outshot 14-2 by the Panthers to start the game, but Leafs goalie Frederik Andersen wasn't overwhelmed by high-quality scoring opportunities. As a result, Toronto kept Florida from scoring in the first 20 minutes, and rebounded in the second half of the opening frame to outshoot the Panthers 5-2 before the first intermission.

The Leafs weren't able to beat Panthers netminder Roberto Luongo in the first, but given that Luongo has posted a save percentage of .930 or higher in four of his past five games, Toronto needed to get more pucks at him than the seven they did in the first.

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Five Takeaways - Leafs vs. Coyotes -11/20/17

Here are five takeaways from the Maple Leafs' 4-1 loss to the Arizona Coyotes Monday at Air Canada Centre:

by Adam Proteau / MapleLeafs.com

1. Yotes bring early pressure, take game's first lead on power play. The Leafs were riding an NHL-season-best six-game win streak prior to Monday's game, but it was the Coyotes who put the pressure on early, outshooting Toronto 10-1 to start the night and forcing the Buds into taking the game's first penalty. Arizona made that subsequent power play count, as winger Brendan Perlini netted his fifth goal of the year to put the visitors ahead 1-0 at the 9:53 mark.

The Leafs found their stride toward the end of the first frame and wound up getting the final seven shots of the period while earning a man advantage with 7.4 seconds left before the intermission, but the Yotes entered the night on a two-game win streak of their own, and their burst of energy to begin the game made the difference in the first 20 minutes of action.

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Five Takeaways - Leafs vs. Canadiens - 11/18/17

Here are five takeaways from the Maple Leafs' 6-0 win over the Montreal Canadiens Saturday at Bell Centre:

by Adam Proteau Proteautype / MapleLeafs.com

1. Leafs start slow, but Andersen continues strong play in scoreless first frame. Toronto goalie Frederik Andersen was coming off his second shutout of the season in Thursday's 1-0 overtime win over New Jersey, and his strong play continued Saturday. The Leafs began the night being outshot by the Habs - Montreal had 16 shots in the first period to the Buds' seven - and Andersen turned all 26 Canadiens shots aside through the first two periods to give his team a chance to be opportunistic again.

Toronto wasn't able to get a goal in the first 20 minutes of action, but Andersen's stellar showing set the stage for his team's offensive outburst in the next two frames.

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Leafs feeling confident as they prepare for road battle with Canadiens

by Adam Proteau Proteautype / MapleLeafs.com

A little more than a half-day after an impressive 1- 0 overtime win against the New Jersey Devils, the Maple Leafs were a confident group as they assembled for practice Friday and while the phenomenal performance of goaltender Frederik Andersen is one of a few key reasons for Toronto's success and their five-game win streak, there are other factors at play.

For one thing, the Leafs players in front of Andersen are playing a better game on the defensive end and as head coach Mike Babcock said, they're still a ways away from being at their collective peak.

"I think we've still given up shots, but we've given up way less high-quality scoring chances, especially early," Babcock said Friday. "So that's been positive…In saying all that, though, we've got a long way to go. We're not playing at the top of our game; we'd like to play better, and spend more time in the O zone, break out more efficiently."

The Leafs were without the services of centre Auston Matthews for the fourth consecutive game in Thursday's victory over New Jersey, but Toronto continued to improve its structure in its own zone, and they were opportunistic on offence when chances presented themselves. Winger William Nylander scored the only goal of the night when he beat Devils goalie Cory Schneider with 2.2 seconds left in overtime, but the Buds had better offensive opportunities throughout the game and only a strong showing by Schneider stopped Toronto from winning in regulation.

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Maple Leafs Agree to Terms With Josh Leivo on One-Year Extension

The Toronto Maple Leafs announced today that the hockey club has agreed to terms with forward Josh Leivo.

by Staff Writer MapleLeafs / MapleLeafs.com

The Toronto Maple Leafs announced today that the hockey club has agreed to terms with forward Josh Leivo on a one-year extension worth $925,000.

Leivo, 24, has recorded one assist in five games for the Maple Leafs this season. The Innisfil, Ontario, native has collected 19 points (9 goals, 10 assists) in 46 career NHL games, all of which have been played with the Maple Leafs.

Prior to joining the Maple Leafs, Leivo recorded 124 points (51 goals, 73 assists) in 171 regular season games with the Toronto Marlies (AHL) and was named an AHL All-Star in 2015-16. In 35 career Calder Cup playoff games in the AHL, Leivo has registered eight goals and 19 assists.

Leivo was selected by the Maple Leafs in the third round (86th overall) of the 2011 NHL Draft.

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Five Takeaways - Leafs vs. Devils - 11/16/17

Here are five takeaways from the Maple Leafs' 1-0 overtime win over the New Jersey Devils Thursday at Air Canada Centre:

by Adam Proteau Proteautype / MapleLeafs.com

1. Leafs, Devils employ high-speed attack against each other in opening frame, but Andersen, Schneider keep game scoreless. The Leafs were seeking to avenge a 6-3 loss to New Jersey at the ACC Oct. 11, and they came out of the dressing room Thursday focused and well-structured, particularly in their own zone. Toronto outshot the Devils 12-10 in the first 20 minutes of action and nearly scored on a few occasions, but netminder Cory Schneider made some outstanding stops; and at the other end, Leafs goalie Frederik Andersen made a few terrific saves to keep the score knotted at 0-0 heading into the second period.
 

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Leafs use layoff to recharge, prepare for gutsy Devils

After an unusually long break in the schedule, the Leafs return to action Thursday night.

by Adam Proteau Proteautype / MapleLeafs.com

After an unusually long break in the schedule, the Leafs return to action Thursday night when the New Jersey Devils visit Air Canada Centre for the second time this season. Toronto's four-day layoff between games - combined with the possible return of centre Auston Matthews to the lineup - has everyone in the organization raring to go.

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Leafs Loan Gauthier to Marlies, Recall Nikita Soshnikov

by Staff Writer MapleLeafs / MapleLeafs.com

The Toronto Maple Leafs announced today that the hockey club has loaned forward Frederik Gauthier to the Toronto Marlies (AHL), while forward Nikita Soshnikov has been recalled from the Marlies.

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Five Takeaways - Leafs at Bruins -11/11/17

Here are five takeaways from the Maple Leafs' 4-1 win over the Boston Bruins Saturday at TD Garden:

by Adam Proteau Proteautype / MapleLeafs.com

1. Marner, van Riemsdyk continue points surge as Leafs score twice in first, take lead into intermission. In building their current three-game win streak, the Leafs have demonstrated their depth on offence - particularly, given the absence of centre Auston Matthews in both of the past two games as well as Saturday's showdown against the Bruins - and once again, Toronto's players showed they could produce offence in a hurry, staking out the Buds to a two-goal lead by the 14:16 mark of the first period. And the players who contributed to those goals all have been productive of late.

Winger Mitch Marner - who had a pair of assists Friday in Toronto's 3-2 overtime win over Boston at Air Canada Centre - netted his second goal of the season at 8:52 of the opening frame. Marner registered the shootout winner in the Leafs' 4-3 victory over Las Vegas Monday, and has six points in five games (including Saturday). Toronto added to its lead on the power play at 14:16 of the period, when winger James van Riemsdyk deftly deflected centre Nazem Kadri's shot past Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask and into the net.

van Riemsdyk's goal was his ninth of the year, his fourth in as many games, and his third in his past two. Kadri's assist gave him five points in four games, and blueliner Morgan Rielly, who got the secondary assist on the goal, extended his point streak to four games. The Bruins got on the scoreboard 1:02 after van Riemsdyk's goal when centre Frank Vatrano tipped a shot past Leafs netminder Curtis McElhinney, but Toronto took a 2-1 lead into the second period thanks to the continued hot streak of a quartet of contributors. 

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