Recap: Kadri, Leafs Extinguish Flames

It wasn’t exactly how he drew it up – I’m sure – but Nazem Kadri couldn’t have fired home his 100th career goal any better than he did against the Calgary Flames on Monday night in Toronto.

Leo Komarov, NHL, Toronto Maple Leafs
Leo Komarov made his presence felt on his 30th birthday on Monday. (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

But for two teams that don’t meet often, it was a rugged affair that included a hard hit on Johnny Gaudreau, a small tussle between the birthday boy Leo Komarov (who turned 30 on Monday) and the Flames captain and a lot of stick swatting by both clubs.

Still, the Leafs can thank Frederik Andersen for another stellar performance in net and their kids who – after being held off the score sheet – accounted for a number of their team’s points again on Monday.

Special teams played a major role on the night with Calgary’s power play going 0-for-4 on the night. The Leafs were able to do it on both sides of the man advantage with a power play goal and a shorthanded opportunity that really put it away for the Leafs in the second frame.

First Period

The game started with some weak neutral zone play, but both teams still managed to get chances at both ends of the ice. On one hand, the Leafs kept Calgary’s chances to the outside of the home plate area in front of their net, while they were able to get some in-close opportunities at the other end.

About five minutes in, Troy Brouwer helped the Leafs when he took a penalty away from the puck slashing Connor Carrick in the leg. The Leafs maintained possession for most of the power play, but weren’t able to score with the man advantage. Calgary, however, got a great odd man rush shorthanded. But Frederik Andersen was up to the test stoning Mikael Backlund alone in front.

A few minutes later, the Leafs took a penalty of their own when Marner was called for a trip on T.J. Brodie. The Leafs were able to kill it off without much damage caused by the Flames and Marner got a chance right out of the box that was broken up at the hash marks.

But anticipation grew at the ACC when James van Riemsdyk had a play reviewed late in the period. He wrapped the puck around the Calgary net and put it between Elliott’s legs. It wasn’t called a goal on the ice and the referees took time during the next whistle break to confirm the call which was held up.

That, however, was just a prelude to what happened with just one minute left in the frame. A broken play and a ricocheted puck found its way back to the blue line where Nikita Zaitsev was waiting. He turned and just fired a puck towards the net. Marner tipped the point shot high in the slot and it got past Elliott for a 1-0 Leafs lead heading into the second period.

Second Period

The second frame started much the way the first ended. Michael Frolik was sent off just a minute and a half into the period for high-sticking Martin Marincin and Bozak followed suit with a hooking penalty of his own a minute and a half later.

Following that, however, the scoring chances started to flow again. Tkachuk planted himself in front of the net and almost put one past Andersen with a pile of Leaf players around him. And the Leafs followed that up with a chance of their own.

In a desperate attempt to get the puck out of his own zone, Matthews fired the puck out as he was falling. The puck came to Nylander in the neutral zone, who also kept it alive as he was falling and Kadri was able to wrist a shot past Elliott. The goal was Kadri’s 100th of his career and gave the Leafs a two-goal lead.

Following the goal, the game got a little fiery. Zaitsev was handed a minor for delay of game. Forty seconds later, Matt Hunwick was sent off for interference while Brodie was handed two minutes for embellishment on the same play.

That was all followed up 50 seconds later by a big hit from Komarov on Gaudreau who had to briefly leave the game and Giordano decided to take Komarov on as a dance partner – standing up for his fallen mate.

Upon his return to the game, Gaudreau got a great opportunity in front of Andersen on the power play and just fired the puck wide. The Leafs turned it back up ice and Hyman broke in with Komarov on an odd man rush. Elliott made the first stop on the Hyman shot, but the 24-year-old Leaf forward smacked at the puck on the rebound and was able to get the shorthanded goal on the Calgary net minder with three minutes left.

Andersen was forced to make a number of saves throughout the period, including one on the penalty kill that ricocheted off Zaitsev’s chest in front. But he stood tall and was able to stop all 12 Calgary shots in the period (and all 20 through 40 minutes).

Third Period

The Flames’ penalty kill got even more work in the third as Chiasson was called for an elbow on Komarov just over a minute into the third period. That, however, didn’t last long as Kadri fired home his second of the night and his 20th on the season. It’s just the second time in his NHL career that he’s reached the 20-goal plateau and the first since 2013-14 (when he scored 20).

Frolik took another penalty five minutes into the frame, but the Flames were able to kill that one off without too many chances given up.

While Kadri had a number of chances to notch his hat trick goal, he just couldn’t find the back of the net for a third time. He did, however, fire four shots on Elliott with a number of other shot directed towards the Calgary goalie.

The game closed with even more rough play as Carrick was sent off with four minutes for cross checking and roughing Sam Bennett, while Bennett was handed two of his own for roughing. The Leafs were able to kill off what remained of the power play and Andersen recorded a 26-save shutout.

Scoring Summary


TOR – Mitch Marner (11) assisted by Nikita Zaitsev


TOR – Nazem Kadri (19) assisted by William Nylander

TOR – Zach Hyman (7) SHG assisted by Martin Marincin


TOR – Nazem Kadri (20) PPG assisted by Mitch Marner and Nikita Zaitsev

THW Three Stars

First: Nazem Kadri (2 goals, 100th career goal)

Second: Frederik Andersen (26-save shutout)

Third: Mitch Marner (GWG, 1 assist)


Toronto Maple Leafs at Detroit Red Wings

Joe Louis Arena – 7:00 p.m. EST – Wednesday, January 25

Broadcast channels – SN and FS-D

2016-17 Season Series: Maple Leafs lead 1-0-0