It was supposed to be a tough game, but it wasn’t. The Toronto Maple Leafs flew into Tampa Bay and beat the Lightning by a score of 6-2. Auston Matthews scored a hat trick to tie the Maple Leafs’ franchise record of 54 goals in a season set 40 years ago. Mitch Marner had a goal and added two assists to keep his amazing streak intact.
Finally, goalie Jack Campbell played a really strong game to hold the two-time Stanley Cup champions to only two goals in 34 shots. The Lightning are a tough team to beat, but the Maple Leafs made it look quite easy. That might not be the case in the future, but it was the case on this one night.
Takeaway One: Jack Campbell Was Absolutely on His Game
Jack Campbell stopped 32 of 34 shots last night as his team the reigning Stanley Cup champs by a score of 6-2. If you didn’t see the game, don’t think it was easy from the start. Yes, the Maple Leafs got the early goal to go up 1-0, but Campbell was called on to make several key saves — especially during the first period. Just as he did against the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday night, he came through.
The 30-year-old Campbell has now won back-to-back games since returning to the active lineup. He had missed 10 games with a rib injury, but that wasn’t obvious at all tonight. Campbell has now put together a 26-9-4 record with a goals-against-average of 2.64 and a save percentage of .914.
Can he keep this great play going throughout the regular season? Even more important, can he perform like this during the playoffs?
Takeaway Two: Auston Matthews Ties Maple Leafs’ Franchise Record with 54th Goal
Auston Matthews scores in bunches. Tonight was yet another one of those “bunch” nights. He had a hat trick on the road in Tampa Bay (and also added one assist) for four points. With that hat trick, Matthews jumped to tie Rick Vaive’s franchise goal-scoring mark he set in 1981-82.
Matthews extended his goal-scoring streak to six games. It was his seventh career hat trick; and, remarkably, it was his fourth this season. He also added an assist to jump his point total to 92 as well. So, not only is Matthews flirting with 60 goals, he’s also shooting for 100 points. Who’s to say he won’t reach both marks sooner rather than later?
Matthews has been unstoppable. The Maple Leafs star center finished the game with a plus-3 rating and seven shots on goal. He’s now scored in six straight games and also scored at least one goal in 12 of his last 13 games. Really, what’s the limit for this young star?
Takeaway Three: Mitch Marner Is Keeping Up to Matthews –
Matthews’ teammate Mitch Marner also scored a goal and two assists in his three-point night. He now has put together 22 points (six goals and 16 assists) during the last 10 games he’s played.
Marner has been on fire recently. Last night was his sixth straight multi-point game. With the win, the Maple Leafs now have a two-point lead over both the Lightning and the Boston Bruins for second place in the Atlantic Division.
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