COOLED: Maple Leafs’ five-game winning streak was halted by hardworking Kings

Article content

All good things must come to an end, we have heard.


Article content

In the case of the Maple Leafs, a five-game winning streak turned into an ugly death Monday night at Scotiabank Arena.

The Leafs were never able to lose track against an energetic Los Angeles Kings team, losing 5-1 to end Toronto’s streak of successes with a thud.
The five-game home position, the best season of the season, ended with an unusual start for the Leafs, at least for the past two weeks, as the Kings scored twice in the first period and didn’t have much trouble with Toronto. in the after 40 minutes.

“What puzzles me is the beginning, why can’t we go out there and assert ourselves, have urgency and rhythm, just let people fly through the neutral zone and into our net,” said the Leafs coach, Sheldon Keefe. “It’s not good enough. The opposition doesn’t give us that. We don’t have free passes to fly through the neutral zone.”


Article content

We apologize, but this video could not be loaded.

That lack of urgency in the initial confrontation sank under Keefe’s skin.

“That’s what we’re trying to get out of,” Keefe said. “Until we fix that, we’re going to keep riding this wave and it’s not good enough.”

Jack Campbell, who was named the NHL’s second star of the week after starring in three Leafs victories, made 24 saves to a crowd of 18,893.

“I’m pretty sure everyone in the building knows it wasn’t my best moment … it cost us two points,” Campbell said, a little too critical of his own performance.

Jonathan Quick stopped 33 shots at the Kings’ net. A quick glove on Auston Matthews in the third period helped preserve the Kings’ two-goal cushion.

With 4 1/2 minutes to go, Phillip Danault scored his second of the game after a loss to John Tavares. Adrian Kempe then scored on an empty goal.
Los Angeles, playing without the injured Drew Doughty, won its fifth straight game.


Article content

Trailing 2-0, the Leafs cut the Kings’ lead to one when Tavares scored on a power play at 1:51 of the second period. That was the captain’s sixth goal in six games and the fourteenth in a row for Tavares, Matthews, Mitch Marner or William Nylander. Marner had the main assist, giving him a point on 11 of the Leafs’ last 13 goals.
Of the 19 goals during the winning streak, the four centers had 15.

The Kings reestablished their two-goal margin at 1:56 p.m. of the second, but not without some controversy.

Trevor Moore of the Los Angeles Kings scores a goal over Maple Leafs goalkeeper Jack Campbell in the first period.  DAN HAMILTON / USA TODAY SPORTS
Trevor Moore of the Los Angeles Kings scores a goal over Maple Leafs goalkeeper Jack Campbell in the first period. DAN HAMILTON / USA TODAY SPORTS

Danault, so good against the Leafs for the Montreal Canadiens in the first round of the 2021 Stanley Cup playoffs, was credited with the goal after a jumble of bodies in front of Campbell.

Although Danault appeared to hit the puck with his skateboard, the goal held up after a review after it was determined that Danault did not make any distinctive kicking movements. To make things a bit more painful, the puck barely crossed the line before Travis Dermott removed it.


Article content

Leafs defender Jake Muzzin spoke in the morning of the improvement in the Leafs’ work ethic as a major boost in the club’s winning streak.
But the Kings, who started a four-game road trip, were the hungriest group in the first period and were rewarded with a 2-0 lead.

Los Angeles outscored Toronto 12-6 in the first 20 minutes and often won disc battles. The Kings check was also close.

A pair of former Leafs prospects joined in for the first goal.

The speedy Trevor Moore, who went to the Kings in the trade that brought Campbell north, edged out Timothy Liljegren, kept Rasmus Sandin out and lifted the puck over Campbell’s glove at 10:52. Carl Grundstrom, who became king when the Leafs acquired Muzzin, assisted in the goal.


Article content

The swift Kings burned the Leafs again at 2:21 p.m. when Andreas Athanasiou swerved around a flat-footed Muzzin and beat Campbell.

Between goals, Quick made a good save over Wayne Simmonds.

“We couldn’t keep our game,” Tavares said of the overall effort. “We did not win enough battles in the tight areas. Giving up the lead, having to play from behind, we didn’t make enough plays and we built momentum in the hockey game. “

The Leafs will look to regain their consistency when they hit the road for a game in Philadelphia against the Flyers on Wednesday night.

[email protected]



Postmedia is committed to maintaining a lively but civilized discussion forum and encourages all readers to share their views on our articles. Comments can take up to an hour to moderate before appearing on the site. We ask that you keep your comments relevant and respectful. We have enabled email notifications – you will now receive an email if you receive a response to your comment, there is an update from a comment thread you follow, or if a user you follow comments. Visit our Community Principles for more information and details on how to adjust your E-mail settings.

Leave a Comment