Lucas Viveiros | Report
In their final game of 2018, the Toronto Maple Leafs were defeated by the New York Islanders by a final score of 4-0.
This game was highly anticipated prior to puck drop, as star Maple Leaf forward John Tavares suited up for the first time against the team that drafted him way back in 2009.
Toronto went into the game starting Garret Sparks between the pipes, as Frederik Andersen continued to recover from a groin injury.
Although looking a little unorthodox, Sparks made some big saves early on to keep the game scoreless, but ultimately would let it the game’s first goal a little under halfway through the opening period.
The marker would come courtesy Valtteri Filppula, who squeezed through the Maple Leafs third defensive pair, and fired one between the arm of Sparks to make it 1-0 Islanders.
New York’s new face of the franchise; Matt Barzal would then take over the rest of the contest, starting with a deflection on a Johnny Boychuk point shot, just under three minutes into the second, as the Islanders went up 2-0.
Barzal would then wire one home on the power-play under two minutes later, as his slap shot would tip off of Zaitsev’s right arm and elude Spark to give the Islanders a 3-0 lead.
To top it all off and complete the natural hat-trick, Barzal would lead a two-on-one up the ice with under 10 minutes to play in the third, and squeak one through the wickets of Sparks to secure the Islanders lead at 4-0.
Unforuntalty on this evening John Tavares would remain quiet, and Barzal would lead this new look New York Islanders to a 4-0 road victory.
Revisit the game’s highlights below.
Next, the Maple Leafs will be well rested for an afternoon showdown with the Minnesota Wild on Thursday for the ‘Next Gen Game’.
Game time is set for 2:00pm from Scotiabank Arena, and can be watched on Sportsnet.
More news from the ice
- Garret Sparks played in his third straight game
- Two of the three five game win streaks for the Maple Leafs this season ended with a shutout
- Robin Lehner is the first Islanders goalie in franchise history to record a shutout in Toronto
- Barzal’s hat-trick was the second of his career
Out of town scoreboard
Saturday, December 29th
Carolina 0 New Jersey 2
Minnesota 3 Winnipeg 1
Vegas 4 Los Angeles 1
San Jose 7 Edmonton 4
Boston 3 Buffalo 2 (OT)
Washington 3 Ottawa 2
Montreal 5 Tampa Bay 6
Philadelphia 1 Florida 2
Pittsburgh 6 St.Louis 1
NY Rangers 4 Nashville 3
Detroit 1 Dallas 5
Chicago 3 Colorado 2 (OT)
Arizona 5 Anaheim 4 (OT)
Vancouver 3 Calgary 2 (OT)
More coverage to follow. Image from Powell River Peak.