Reilly scores in back-to-back, St. Pats down Hurricanes 5-2

Josh Marano
FiredUp Network Sports Writer


Friday, March 17, 2023

The Toronto Maple Leafs, donning their St. Pats jerseys on St. Patrick’s Day, got back in the win column with a 5-2 win over the Carolina Hurricanes.


The St. Pats went back to eleven forwards and seven defence but finished the game with ten forwards after Noel Acciari took an errant stick to the face by Hurricanes Jesse Puljujarvi.


Zach Aston-Reese got the party started off a deflected point shot from Erik Gustafsson. This was Gustafsson’s first point as a Maple Leaf.


It was some Mitch Marner magic to put the Leafs up two. Marner bust down the wing and walked by Martin Necas who filled on the back end. Marner then fired a tight shot far side past Pyotr Kochetkov for the highlight reel play. For Marner, he extends his point streak to five games with three goals and seven assists. Marner is coming off a 29-minute ice time game against Colorado Wednesday.


Brady Skjei answered back with his 14th of the season to cut the lead in half squeaking one under the arm of Ilya Samsonov. Samsonov has been on a roll of late, he allowed two goals on 33 shots for his 24th win of the season.


Auston Matthews opened the second period with fourth goal in fifth game and 13th on the powerplay tying John Tavares for the team lead in that category. Not a typical Matthews goal as a Tavares shot redirected off a Hurricanes’ defender and back off Matthews shin pad and in. The Leafs were a perfect one-for-one on the powerplay tonight.


Martin Necas answered scored his 26th of the season to bring the deficit to 3-2. Necas will look to take the bulk of the goal scoring for Carolina with Andrei Svechnikov out for the remainder of the year and playoffs due to a torn ACL.


The Leafs closed it out with back-to-back goals including ZAR’s second of the night and Morgan Reilly’s snipe. Reilly scored the lone goal in the loss to the Avalanche Wednesday. He has scored four goals in his last 18. ZAR also becomes the only Leaf to score two goals on St. Pats night.


With the win the Buds grab their 91st point of the season and 41st win inching them closer to securing their seventh straight playoff berth.


Luke Schenn also made home-ice debut since 2012. Justin Holl was a scratch for this one, but head coach Sheldon Keefe said Holl will be inserted tomorrow against the Ottawa Senators in a back-to-back.


TOR Scoring: Aston-Reese (6), Marner (25), Matthews PP (32), Aston-Reese (7), Reilly (4)


CAR Scoring: Skjei (14), Necas (26)