🎶Tale as old as time, song as old as rhyme, the Leafs are gonna Leaaaaaf 🎶
By halfway through the second period, the Toronto Maple Leafs were leading the Florida Panthers 5-1 with goals from William Nylander, Colin Blackwell, Jake Muzzin, and two from Mitch Marner – a power-play and shorthanded goal. That’s a great start to any game, especially for Jake Muzzin who hasn’t played since February 22nd due to a concussion, or Willy Nylander who missed the last game with an illness.
However, as all things are with the Leafs, everything fell apart like a paper mache parade float in a hurricane. They forgot that the Panthers got an ass that won’t quit.
Sam Reinhart of the Panthers scored a powerplay goal at the 11:52 mark. Radko Gudas quickly followed that up with a shortie of his own and suddenly the Leafs only have a 2-goal lead. Then, and it breaks my heart a lil to say this, Claude Giroux gets things within one with his first goal as a Panther with 3 minutes to go in the period.
That goal concluded the second period scoring but the Panthers did not let a little intermission stop them. Jonathan Huberdeau scores his 25th goal of the season on a powerplay 2:45 into the final frame, which ties this game 5-5. He made history with that one because that was his 100th point of the season which makes him the first Flordia Panther ever to put up 100 points in a season.
Of course, things do not stop there. Captain Aleksander Barkov grabs the Panthers the lead with a goal at the 8:01 mark. It took the Panthers less than a full period of hockey to flip the script and completely overrun this Maple Leafs team. Leafs’ captain John Tavares tried to at least give his team some hope at a win by scoring a powerplay goal with just over 3 minutes remaining in the game.
But as we all know, the Hockey Gods are not on the Leafs’ side.
Jonathan Huberdeau once again scores the OT winner to tie a neat little bow on this Panthers’ W. That’s his 102nd point of the season now, he assisted on Barkov’s goal as well. His OT GWG was not just that it was his 600th career point! Incredible night for him and his team, no shit he was awarded the First Star of the game.
The Panthers have been clinched since the 3rd and they’re not letting themselves get comfortable. Should my other teams fall from the playoffs (which knowing them, they will) I want Florida to win it. They have my boy Claude, they have Joe Thornton who deserves one. They’re a good team who make things fun and I want to see them go deep in the playoffs. The Leafs are gonna Leaf, always happens. Let’s go, Cats.
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Featured Image: Florida Panthers Twitter