The Maple Leafs were once again on the wrong end of the shootout. Flames goalie David Rittich finished as the game’s first star after making 35 saves. Andersen finished as the games second star after a 31 save performance.

Strong Defensive Effort 

Despite the loss, this was a very good game for the Maple Leafs. For the first time since January 4th, they were able to hold their opponents to less than three goals. During that time, they have struggled on the defensive side allowing 21 goals against in that four game stretch. They Leafs were able to neutralize most of the Flames chances, as their goal came off a re-direct.

There is no question that when Reilly went down with injury, Leafs nation hit the panic button. Letting the Devils score four times on Tuesday did not help ease the pressure. However, holding the Flames to only one goal was very impressive. Despite being under staffed, the defense of the Maple Leafs seemed confident they can weather the storm and with Muzzin skating again help could be on the way.

All-Star Battle Between the Pipes

There isn’t many games any more where we’re treated to a goalie battle. In this game, Rittich and Andersen put on a show stopping almost everything from these two high powered offenses. For the first time since December 12th, the Maple Leafs failed to score more than 3 goals in a game. That was a streak of 14 games, which oddly enough it was Rittich and the Flames who held them to only two goals back on December 12th.

Rittich proved tonight why the NHL chose him to replace injured Coyotes goalie Darcy Kuemper in the All-Star game. Andersen will also be making his first All-Star appearance in St.Louis in what is one of his most dominate seasons to date.

Nylander Build Up Stock

William Nylander scored the Leafs lone goal on the power-play in the third period. The goal was his 21st of the season, which is only one shy of his career high of 22 from the 2016-17 season. Last year, Nylander was only able to muster up seven goals in 54 games, while he has now scored 10 goals in his last 13 games.

While Matthews and Marner have been proving they are worth every penny of their huge contracts, Nylander has quietly been proving his worth also. With all this trade talk for anther defenseman and the consistency of the dynamic duo, questions will be asked. Will Nylander be traded or not?

The Maple Leafs will return to action on Saturday night as they host the Chicago Blackhawks.