Lucas Viveiros | Report
The Toronto Maple Leafs were shown up by a more veteran, experienced hockey club on Monday evening, as the team fell 4-0 in shutout fashion to the Nashville Predators.
Loads of anticipation seeped into this game from Scotiabank Arena on Monday evening, as a potential Stanley Cup Final preview was in the works.
Unfortunately for Mike Babcock’s Maple Leafs they failed to play with enough grit and ‘sandpaper’ to really give Nashville a run for their money.
Following a tightly contested first period, with chances for both sides, the Predators really took control of the game in the middle period on two goals from two of their top d-men.
First, on an early period power-play, Mattias Ekholm would send a rocket of a slapper over the blocking arm of Hutchinson to break the ice, sending Nashville up 1-0.
Then Toronto would have the tying goal called back after it was revealed William Nylander was offside 26 seconds before Auston Matthews beat Pekka Rinne on a bang-bang play.
With the score still 1-0 Predators and with under seven minutes to play in the second, Toronto native P.K. Subban would send a scorcher past Hutchinson, off of a clean face-off win by Nick Bonino, putting the Preds up 2-0.
Nashville would carry that lead into the final period after a couple of big stops from Pekka Rinne, and look to add to it and put the game out of reach.
Toronto would see a vital opportunity midway through the period, as they were sent to the power-play, but failed to capitalize after Auston Matthews sent his shot just wide of a yawning empty net.
Like great teams often do, they make others pay off of missed opportunities, and that’s what Nashville did in the third.
Another hometown boy in Colton Sissons would find the scoresheet, registering the back breaking goal with 2:37 to play, extending the lead to 3-0.
The Predators would add one final blow for insult to injury in the form of a Kevin Fiala goal with 37.3 seconds to play in the game, and take the result by a final score of 4-0.
Revisit the game’s highlights below.
Next, Toronto will set their sights on a road victory against the New Jersey Devils on Thursday night.
Puck drop is scheduled for 7:00pm from Prudential Center, and can be seen on TSN.
More news from the ice
- Auston Matthews is tied with Alexander Ovechkin for the most goals per game this season (0.71)
- John Tavares needs one more goal to register the 300th of his NHL Career
- Toronto is 0-for-9 on the power-play in their last four games, and 1-for-13 in their last six games
Out of town scoreboard
Monday, January 7
St. Louis 3 Philadelphia 0
Minnesota 1 Montreal 0
Calgary 4 Chicago 3
Los Angeles 1 San Jose 3
More coverage to follow. Image from nhl.com