Giordano sets NHL blocked shots record, Leafs down Kraken 5-1 for third straight win
FiredUp Network Sports Writer
Sunday, February 26, 2023
The Toronto Maple Leafs defeated the Seattle Kraken to begin their five-game road trip 5-1.
On a night that saw Mark Giordano set the new block shot record with his 2,045th he also added a goal against his former team after being honoured with a video tribute in his return.
Vince Dunn opened the scoring in this one to put the Kraken up early. The Mississauga native scored in his third straight meeting against his hometown team with the last on January fifth in a Kraken 5-1 win in Toronto.
Following a Mark Giordano goal, John Tavares scored his third in four games. William Nylander grabbed an assist on the goal, also assisting on Giordano’s tally, extended his point streak to seven games with 13 points. He also has 72 points on the year.
Timothy Liljegren closed out the first period with his fifth of the year off a beautiful feed from Mitch Marner under two Kraken sticks. Marner dished three assists in this one bringing him to 54, good for fourth in the league in that category just 11 back of leader Connor McDavid.
Auston Matthews would close it out for the Buds with a goal in each period. In the second, he batted a pass from Marner out of the air and past Kraken netminder Philipp Grubauer. The goal would chase Grubauer after allowing four on 21 shots.
Then off a Seattle turnover it was a pretty passing play between the new line of Michael Bunting, Matthews and Marner for Matthews second of the night, 28th of the season and the fifth goal of the game for the Leafs.
While the goals were aplenty in this one, Toronto’s penalty kill has been on a monster run. They went a perfect two for two tonight, they’ve now stopped 19 of their last 19 on the pk.
Ilya Samsonov has been a big part of that as of late, he was phenomenal again tonight stopping 26 of 27. He allowed just one goal in back-to-back games for the first time since mid-January. He has 22 wins on the season.
For the Leafs, they win their third straight and first on their five-game road trip. With a Tampa Bay Lightning loss, they sit four points above them for second in the division and 13 back of Boston for first.
That five-game road trip continues through western Canada with the next stop in Edmonton. This will be a tough one for the Leafs with their first meeting against McDavid and the Oilers. McDavid has been on a tear this year with 48 goals and 113 points in 60 games. He has a 25-point lead over second which just happens to be teammate, Leon Draisaitl.
TOR Scoring: Giordano (4), Tavares (27), Liljegren (5), Matthews (27), Matthews (28)
SEA Scoring: Dunn (11)