Maple Leafs Survive Scare, Beat Panthers in Shootout
SUNRISE, Fla. — The Maple Leafs wanted to finish the calendar year 2016 in pursuit mode.
Auston Matthews is coming hard after Wendel Clark’s rookie goal record of 34, now halfway behind No. 17 with his own 17th in Wednesday’s 3-2 win over the Panthers.
The rest of the team, backed by Frederik Andersen’s 45 saves, including a third period penalty shot and three shootout stops in the win, survived a scare for their fourth straight road win and a chance for back-to-back sweeps of back-to-back games this month if there’s enough reserve gas Thursday in Tampa Bay.
And yes it’s still early, but that really is the Leafs sitting just three points out of third place in the crowded Atlantic Division behind Boston, an automatic playoff berth if they can use their games in hand to keep the heat on Florida, Tampa Bay and reel in the Bruins.