WHAT A GAME!  A third period comeback led by Marner had the Maple Leafs winning 8-6 against the Carolina Hurricanes. This is the fifth win in a row for the Maple Leafs. Marner tied a career high five points in the game.

The Marner-Matthews Connection 

The Maple Leafs went into the third down 5-3, after blowing a early three goal led. Matthews did pull them within one, but Carolina would add another shortly after. With less than 15 minutes remaining in the game, Keefe decided to run with his big guns.

Matthews finished the game with a goal and assist, but his assist on Marner’s first goal opened up the flood gates.

Marner would go on to score twice within a minute after that, while also setting up the tying goal by Barrie within that minute. The line of Marner, Matthews and Hyman combined for 9 points in the third. Since returning from injury, Marner is on a 8-game point streak. During that time Marner has recorded 17 points.

Defensive Struggle 

Despite the comeback and the fantastic offence this was a very bad game on the back end. After coughing up a three goal lead, turnovers killed the Leafs as the Hurricanes scored five unanswered goals. In the second period especially, turnovers by the defense allowed Carolina to score three goals within a minute.

Somewhere, Babcock was watching smiling as the Leafs looked as if they were about to crash hard. However, Keefe did not let that happen. He was able to inspire the Maple Leafs to react positively. Even after the mental relapse in the second period, the Leafs pushed through. Under Keefe, these Leafs have no quit in them. Even on a bad night they are a dangerous team. Now sitting only 7 points back of Boston for first, they are starting to make some noise.

Lead By Example

Lost in all the goals and craziness of this game is the effort that Tavares has put in. Tavares finished the game with a goal and two assists, albeit without playing with Marner. When Keefe took the risk and separated them, Tavares could have easily been negative about it, but he didn’t. Acting like a true leader, Tavares continues to have positive outings game in and game out.

The Leafs will now head into the holidays, as their next game isn’t until Friday where they will play the Devils in New Jersey.