Published: Thu, February 15, 2018
Medicine | By Brett Sutton

Freddie Andersen makes career-high 54 saves against Blue Jackets

Freddie Andersen makes career-high 54 saves against Blue Jackets

Patrick Marleau had a goal and two assists, and Dominic Moore and Mitch Marner also scored for Toronto (35-19-5). Since the trio was formed on January 24 against Chicago, Kadri has seven goals and eight assists, Marner has seven goals and five assists, and Marleau has three goals and four assists. Babcock said after the game he didn't know exactly why Marner and Kadri have clicked so well when they had no chemistry to speak of last season, but Marner said it's the line's ability to play with so much speed that helps set them apart. I didn't think at any time we were really that good, but we battled hard and found a way to get a win.

The production far exceeds what Kadri and Marleau managed with Leo Komarov, their regular linemate for a large chunk of the season.

"They just told me he has some sort of lower-body thing and he has some kind of spasm or something like that and they couldn't get it to relax", Leafs coach Mike Babcock said.

Babcock said he was reluctant to put Marner and Kadri together since they lacked chemistry previous year, but he's happy they've found it now. More information on his injury and status moving forward should surface in the coming days, but Toronto will be forced to roll with just five blueliners for the remainder of the game.

When you take a look around the league, there aren't many 'tenders out there the Maple Leafs would rather have leading them into the playoffs than the one they have right now.

Goalie Frederik Andersen also had a career night, turning aside a career-high 54 of 57 shots, majority when the game was on the line in the first and second periods.

In ceding 57 shots to the Blue Jackets, Toronto not only surpassed their previous season-high of 48 shots against on December 6 against the Calgary Flames, they became just the third team this season to allow 52 or more shots against in a game. Sergei Bobrovsky has given up 112 goals on 1,391 shots faced and Joonas Korpisalo has allowed 31 goals on 345 shots.

The win came at a price for the Leafs, as defenceman Jake Gardiner left in the first period and did not return. It was Johnson's third goal of the season. With David Savard taking away the passing lane to Kasperi Kapanen, Moore used a backhanded shot to beat Korpisalo. Alexander Wennberg had two assists. James van Riemsdyk and Morgan Rielly collected assists at 7:36. The number of shots and the 54 saves were career-highs for him. Dean Kukan picked up the secondary assist at 18:21.

Marner found Kadri at the back door through a group of players, setting up Kadri for his third goal of the game on Wednesday; earlier, Kadri feathered a backhand pass to Marner for what was the victor in a 6-3 Leafs win against Columbus. He then scored his second at 2:25 of the second on a pass from Wennberg to tie it 2-2. In a game where the Leafs struggled to get any traction in the offensive zone, Kadri's line led the way with 38 per cent possession with a combined 10 shots on goal.

But Kadri's one-timer made it 3-2 at 8:03 and he set up Marner's one-timer at 10:17.

The Columbus Blue Jackets have put together nice back to back victories, but the Devils and the Islanders aren't the Toronto Maple Leafs. It was his fourth career hat trick.

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