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NHL Playoffs Round 2 Game 4 Preview: Toronto Maple Leafs (0-3) at Florida Panthers (3-0)

TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS NOTES:

2023 STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS SCHEDULE, ROUND 2 vs. FLORIDA PANTHERS
Game 1 – Tuesday, May 2nd – 7:00 pm ET – Sportsnet (TV), TSN 1050 (Radio) – 2-4 L
Game 2 – Thursday, May 4th – 7:00 pm ET – Sportsnet (TV), CityNews 680 (Radio) – 2-3 L
Game 3 – Sunday, May 7th – 6:30 pm ET – Sportsnet (TV), Sportsnet 590 (Radio) – 2-3 OTL
Game 4 – Wednesday, May 10th – 7 pm ET – Sportsnet (TV), TSN 1050 (Radio)
Game 5 – Friday, May 12th – TBD – Sportsnet (TV), TSN 1050 (Radio)*
Game 6 – Sunday, May 14th – TBD – Sportsnet (TV), Sportsnet 590 (Radio)*
Game 7 – Tuesday, May 16th – TBD – Sportsnet (TV), TSN 1050 (Radio)*
*If Necessary

THE SERIES
The Maple Leafs advanced to the Second Round of the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs with a Game 6 win against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday, April 29th. Toronto will take on the Florida Panthers in the Second Round marking the first postseason meeting between the clubs. The Maple Leafs posted a 3-0-1 record against the Florida Panthers during the 2022-23 regular season with a 1-0-1 record at Scotiabank Arena. Three of four regular season games against Florida this season were decided in overtime. Mitch Marner led the team with six points (1G, 5A) in four games this season against the Panthers. Auston Matthews led the team in goals with five through four games. Ilya Samsonov posted a 2-0-1 record with a 1.45 goals-against average through three games against Florida this season.

LAST GAME
Score: Toronto 2 at Florida 3 – OTL
Date: Sunday, May 7, 2023
TOR Goals: Lafferty, Gustafsson
FLA Goals: Duclair (PP), Verhaeghe, Reinhart (OTW)
TOR Goaltender: Samsonov, 8/8, 1.000 SV% – Woll, 18/21, .857 SV%
FLA Goaltender: Bobrovsky, 22/24, .917 SV%
TOR Power Play: N/A
TOR Penalty Kill: 1-for-2

Player Notes:

  • Sam Lafferty scored for Toronto at 2:26 of the first period. Lafferty scored the first goal of his Stanley Cup playoff career.
  • Erik Gustafsson scored for the Maple Leafs at 7:32 of the second period. Gustafsson scored his first goal of the playoffs and second goal of his Stanley Cup playoff career.
  • David Kämpf recorded the primary assist on Lafferty’s goal. Kämpf registered his second assist of the playoffs. Kämpf won 13 of 14 face-off attempts during Sunday’s game, tying a single-game Stanley Cup playoff career-high in face-off wins (13) and setting a new single-game Stanley Cup playoff career-high in face-off win percentage (93%).
  • Morgan Rielly posted the secondary assist on Lafferty’s goal. Rielly extended his point streak to eight games where he has posted 11 points (3G, 8A). An eight-game point streak ties the Maple Leafs franchise record for the longest point streak in a single postseason. Per NHL Stats, “the mark is also shared by Auston Matthews (8 GP in 2023), Gary Roberts (8 GP in 2002), Doug Gilmour (8 GP in 1993) and Gary Leeman (8 GP in 1986).”
  • William Nylander posted the primary assist on Gustafsson’s goal. Nylander recorded his sixth assist of the playoffs. With his eighth point of the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs (2G, 6A), Nylander tied a career-high for most points recorded during a single postseason (previously set during the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs).
  • Jake McCabe registered the secondary assist on Gustafsson’s goal. With the assist, McCabe recorded the first point of his Stanley Cup playoff career.

Team Notes: – Game 3 record in best-of-seven: 34-47 overall, 12-20 on the road.

  • Toronto owns an all-time playoff overtime record of 62-61-1 (24-27 as the road team).

FLORIDA PANTHERS NOTES:

BAPTIST HEALTH INJURY REPORT

  • F Patric Hornqvist | Games Missed: 10
  • F Ryan Lomberg | Games Missed: 6
    Total Playoff Man Games Lost Due to Injury: 19
    Total Regular Season Man Games Lost Due to Injury: 239

LAST GAME
Panthers 3, Maple Leafs 2 [OT] – May 7 – FLA Live Arena
FLA Goals: Duclair (2-PPG), Verhaeghe (4), Reinhart (5-OT)
TOR Goals: Lafferty (1), Gustafsson (1)
FLA Goalie: Bobrovsky (W) – 22 Saves
TOR Goalie: Samsonov – 8 Saves, Woll (L) – 18 Saves
FLA Shots: 29
TOR Shots: 24
Notes: Sam Reinhart scored his first career playoff overtime goal to extend Florida’s postseason win streak to six games, already the longest playoff win streak in club history…Reinhart’s goal represented Florida’s first playoff overtime win at home since Dave Lowry on May 9, 1996 vs. PHI in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Semifinal…Carter Verhaeghe scored his fourth goal of the postseason, reaching the 10-point (6-4-10) mark for the second consecutive postseason, the first player in club history to do so…Anton Lundell notched an assist on Reinhart’s OT winner, becoming the second-youngest player in Panthers history to factor on an overtime goal in the playoffs…Sergei Bobrovsky won his sixth consecutive postseason game…Anthony Duclair scored to extend his point streak to three games (1-2-3)…Josh Mahura notched an assist for his first career playoff point…Aaron Ekblad posted two assists…FLA PP: 1-2, FLA PK: 0-0

RECENT TRANSACTIONS:

  • May 8: F Mackie Samoskevich agreed to terms on a three-year, entry-level contract
  • May 7: F Connor Bunnaman, Grigori Denisenko, Aleksi Heponiemi, Patrick Giles, D Matt Kiersted, John Ludvig, Santtu Kinnunen, Calle Sjalin and G Mack Guzda recalled from Charlotte (AHL)
  • May 6: D Lucas Carlsson and G Evan Fitzpatrick recalled from Charlotte (AHL)

PANTHERS vs. MAPLE LEAFS
ALL-TIME vs. TOR: 43-40-7-8
ALL-TIME ROAD vs. TOR: 18-23-2-4
2022-23 vs. TOR: 1-1-2

ROUND 1 – FLA (4) vs. BOS (3)
GAME 1 – FLA 1, BOS 3
GAME 2 – FLA 6, BOS 3
GAME 3 – BOS 4, FLA 2
GAME 4 – BOS 6, FLA 2
GAME 5 – FLA 4, BOS 3 [OT]
GAME 6 – BOS 5, FLA 7
GAME 7 – FLA 4, BOS 3 [OT]

ROUND 2 – FLA (3) vs. TOR (0)
GAME 1 – FLA 4, TOR 2
GAME 2 – FLA 3, TOR 2
GAME 3 – TOR 2, FLA 3 [OT]

PANTHERS PLAYOFF LEADERS
Goals: Montour (6)
Assists: Tkachuk (10)
Points: Tkachuk (15)
Shots: Montour (34)
Hits: Gudas (44)

MAKING THEIR MARK
FLORIDA PANTHERS ALL-TIME PLAYOFF LEADERS
GOALS ASSISTS POINTS

  1. Carter Verhaeghe | 12 1. Aleksander Barkov | 22 1. Aleksander Barkov | 30
    T-2. Ray Sheppard | 10 2. Jonathan Huberdeau | 16 2. Carter Verhaeghe | 25
    T-2. Dave Lowry | 10 3. Carter Verhaeghe | 13 3. Jonathan Huberdeau | 21

KEEP IT ROLLING
The Panthers have won each of their past six playoff games, surpassing the previous club record of four consecutive wins (May 9-18, 1996 vs. PHI & PIT). Additionally, the Cats have won each of their past five road playoff games dating back to Game 3 at BOS, the longest playoff road win streak in club history. Over the course of the win streak (April 26-May 7), the Cats scored a league-leading 25 goals averaging 4.17 goals per game and scoring at a 38.5% clip on the power play [5/13]. Over that span, four different Panthers have registered at least a point per game (Tkachuk [10], Verhaeghe [8], Barkov [7] and Lundell [7].

CATS VS. LEAFS
The Panthers face off against the Toronto Maple Leafs in the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time. The Panthers earned points in three of their four meetings (1-1-2) with the Maple Leafs in 2022-23, with three of the four matchups ending in overtime. On March 29,
Sam Reinhart scored a game-tying goal with a minute remaining in regulation to force overtime before Brandon Montour scored his second of two overtime goals during the season. Montour led the Panthers with five points (2-3-5) over the season series against Toronto, while Aleksander Barkov (1-3-4), Sam Reinhart (1-2-3) and Carter Verhaeghe (1-2-3) all posted at least three points.

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