By: David Alter
Despite their early struggles, the Maple Leafs managed to battle with a strong third period to force a shoot-out, where they would eventually fall to the Phoenix Coyotes 3-2.
Ben Scrivens appeared to struggle early, giving the puck away to the opposition three times in the opening frame. After that, he would settle down to make some timely saves down the stretch.
Scrivens insists that he doesn’t play or feel differently at home.
“I haven’t adjusted my game since Columbus” said Scrivens who made 33 saves in a losing cause. “I think I’ve played similar, maybe I’m a little more comfortable now. With my execution, I’ve been attempting to do the same thing every game and now I’m starting to feel more comfortable and get a little bit of confidence so I definitely didn’t change anything between periods and I don’t think I’ve changed much from game-to-game.”
Dion Phaneuf had a costly giveaway where he appeared to have lost his footing, that helped set up Phoenix’s first goal from Shane Doan just 1:54 into the game.
Oliver Ekman-Larsson followed that up just 3:24 later on the power-play in a shot Scrivens says he didn’t see.
Grabovski and MacArthur Hurt
With the Maple Leafs second line struggling to score, to add injury to insult, Clarke MacArthur and Mikhail Grabovski both left the game with what was being called upper and lower body injuries respectively.
The point of contact for MacArthur’s injury is not immediately known while Grabovksi limped off the ice following a mid-ice collision.
The good news is Tim Connolly has told Ron Wilson he will be back in the lineup on Thursday in Nashville (caution, remember we heard this before.) Should that be the case and both Grabovski and MacArthur can’t go, then a call-up would likely be made. Joe Colborne would have been next, but his status is still in question after he was red-shirted a Marlies practice on Tuesday. This would make Nazem Kadri the next top candidate. Darryl Boyce is also hurt and not an option at this point.
Tyler Bozak played one of his strongest games yet and won 14 of 23 faceoffs with three shots on goal. The only negative is the shot total should have been four when he had a clear breakaway in OT that could have secured the Leafs a win, instead he lost control of it and the puck went wide.
Mike Komisarek was feeling it with his first goal in 13 months and five shots on goal. One of the shots caused tremendous pain to Coyotes goalie Mike Smith who took it hard inside the glove. After being tended to by the Phoenix trainer, Smith was able to finish the game and grab the win.