The post Matthews-Less Maple Leafs Win Game 5: Knies and Woll the Heroes appeared first on NHL Trade Talk.

In an elimination must-win game for the Toronto Maple Leafs, Matthew Knies and goaltender Joseph Woll emerged as the overtime heroes, propelling the team to a thrilling 2-1 victory over the Boston Bruins in Game 5. The Maple Leafs, without Auston Matthews, didn’t just need a win; they needed to spin the narrative after an ugly loss in Game 4. It was a game where the team’s top stars were caught barking at each other on the bench, a scene that many fans believed would be the death of the club this season. A Game 5 win would allow the Leafs to fight for their lives. A loss likely meant some drastic offseason changes.

One at a time!@LGCanada | #LeafsForever

— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) May 1, 2024

Captain John Tavares drove to the net and set it up so that Knies could cash in on a rebound. Knies’ decisive goal, scored at 2:26 of overtime, not only secured the win but also breathed new life into the Leafs’ postseason aspirations. It was Knies’ first career overtime goal and it came on the heels of a huge save by Woll off Charlie Coyle.

It wasn’t that one save that mattered. Woll played a pivotal role in the win, making 28 crucial saves and outperforming his counterpart Jeremy Swayman in Boston. Knies was among the many who expressed his confidence in Woll’s abilities, saying, “I feel pretty safe when he’s in net there.”

Game 5 OT win Maple Leafs

With Game 6 looming on Thursday night in Toronto, the Leafs have another chance to turn the tide in this series and make the Bruins, who felt like they had this series in the bag, extremely nervous. Defenseman Jake McCabe said, “We’ve been resilient all year. I feel like we’ve been bouncing back pretty good after losses and we showed that tonight. And a lot more hockey to play in us, another chance to get it right on home ice here.”

Maple Leafs Won Without Auston Matthews

Just before the game, the Maple Leafs learned they would be without star center Auston Matthews. He practiced for a few minutes in the morning but was ruled out due to illness. Insiders like Elliotte Friedman suggested there was more going on than an illness with Matthews. It’s not clear if he’ll be able to go in Game 6.

Without their leading scorer, the Leafs rallied together, showcasing their resilience and determination to keep their playoff hopes alive. As the series shifts back to Toronto for Game 6, the Leafs find themselves in a prime position to capitalize on their momentum and clinch a crucial win on home ice.

Next: No-Move Clauses a Massive Issue for Maple Leafs and Marner’s Future

The post Matthews-Less Maple Leafs Win Game 5: Knies and Woll the Heroes appeared first on NHL Trade Talk.

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