Ben Scrivens made 37 saves as the Toronto Maple Leafs improved to a 10-6-0 record with a convincing 3-0 victory over the Florida Panthers.
Phil Kessel’s first even-strength marker of the season was the game-winner after a pass from James Van Riemsdyke sprung him down the left side. Nothing sparked offensively for Florida as they floundered on the power play, going 0 for 3. For the other side, Nazim Kadri was able to draw two penalties and accounted for both Leaf power plays. He would convert on one of the opportunities with his 5th goal of the year off a pretty feed from Dion Phaneuf. A mere 1:45 later a deft backhand pass by Kadri while surrounded by three Florida players would lead to Clark MacArthur’s marker, and put the game out of reach for Florida about halfway through the second. Kadri’s 14 points through 16 games currently leads the team. The Leafs are now 6th in the Eastern Conference and their 18 points trails both Montreal and Boston in the North-East Division. With this victory at the BB&T Center the Leafs’ improved their road record to 7-2-0 (4th in the league).
Over the past four-game stretch Ben Scrivens has shone. He’s stopped 133 of the 137 shots he’s faced; good for a .971 save percentage. His blanking of the Panthers comes on the tails of a stellar 34-save shutout performance against the Ottawa Senators. As of right now he hasn't allowed a goal for the last 144 minutes and 51 seconds. His strong play has allowed the Leafs to maintain the success they were enjoying under James Reimer’s tenure and remain among the top ten teams in the league.
Officiating remained a question after Leo Komarov was given two diving penalties, both in the form of coincidental minors. His tenacity and hard-hitting style of play have been drawing retaliatory actions but so far few actual penalties have resulted. He led all players with seven hits in an otherwise quiet outing. Phil Kessel was given a hooking penalty in the third for what appeared to be a light tap to the side of a Panther player’s hockey pants. Given what we've seen of the officiating so far this season, especially after Matt Duchene’s offside game-winning goal against Nashville last night, the officials seem to be rustier from the lockout than the players.
Leafs' defensemen Mark Fraser improved to +13, tying him for 2nd in the league at the time this article was written.
The one aspect of the game that Florida dominated was face offs; they won 33 to Toronto's 23 (56.6 percent). Tyler Bozak's 58 percent draw success made him the only Leaf above .500 at the face off dot.