Only a few days removed from the beating in Pittsburgh, the Maple Leafs returned the favor. A fantastic effort on both ends of the ice led the Maple Leafs to a much needed win. Andersen also earned his second shutout of the season.

Attention to Detail 

After letting in 10 goals over the span of the last two games, this was a much needed breath of fresh air. After all the talk and comments about having to dig deep and play harder, they finally did. In a collective effort, for the first time in a while the Leafs looked good. On offense they were able to put great pressure on the Penguins. Which lead to a boat load of great chances.

It was the effort on defense that really impressed me. After their outburst of offense in the second, they successfully shut down any chance of a Penguins come back. The Leafs were able to hold them to only two shots in the third period. They have been horrible all year in the third and tonight’s effort was one they can be proud of.

Muzzin leading the way 

Muzzin had some tough words for his teammates after the past two losses. Being one of only two members on the roster to win a cup, Muzzin knows what it takes too win. Against the Penguins Muzzin played phenomenal. Finishing as the games second star, he opened the scoring and added two assists. This is now his the fourth straight game with a point, proving why he deserves a big raise.

Muzzin’s play tonight also had a big effect on the rest of team. Tavares who had been under fire as of late had two assists, finishing as the third star. Kerfoot looked alive making a great heads up play to set-up Kapanen on the break away which lead to the third goal. All in all nine players had a point in the game.

The Road Ahead 

Now not all of the Leafs needed a reality check ahead of this game. Hyman and Matthews have been fantastic all season. Both had points in the win against the Penguins. Matthews recorded an assist to tie his career high of 73 points in a season. While Hyman scored his 19th goal of the season. Whats more impressive is that he now has 26 points in his last 26 games.

There is no doubt the the Leafs have the pieces but its crunch time with only 20 games left. If they can play like this on a more consistent basis, they will be in the playoffs. The ball is still in their court and they proved they can win. The question is, was this a flash in the pan or will they have a positive run to end the season.

It doesn’t get any easier for the Leafs, as they will be hosting Carolina on Saturday. Last time the Hurricanes were in town, the game was full of goals.