Far too often this season, the Maple Leafs have relied on their goaltending to bail them out of a potential loss.
On Tuesday night, the team didn’t play up to its potential, nor did Frederik Andersen stand on his head. The result was a well-deserved 4-2 defeat in Philadelphia.
After Patrick Marleau and James van Riemsdyk helped build a 2-1 advantage after forty minutes, Toronto gave up three goals in the third period – one an empty-netter, to lose for the first time all season when leading after two periods (12-1-0).
The winning goal was scored by Sean Couturier, who got a step on the last Leafs defender Connor Brown, and wired a perfect shot in the top corner past a befuddled Andersen.
“I don’t think our mindset is that we’re relying on (Andersen) but he’s been there every night,” defenceman Morgan Rielly said to reporters after the game. “He’s been there every night this entire season so I think we owe him a better effort sometimes.”
One of the few bright spots for Toronto was the achievement reached by Marleau, who became the 60th player in NHL history to reach 1,100 career points.