Tonight's game is the penultimate contest between these two Original Six franchises, with the Leafs set to visit MSG on February 5, to conclude the season series.
"We miss Muzz", said Toronto head coach Sheldon Keefe, now 12-4-1 since he took over. New York Islanders forward Cal Clutterbuck needed surgery to fix a damaged tendon after he was sliced December 19. Hyman salvaged the power play by sweeping in a Morgan Rielly rebound and then Mikheyev had excellent net presence to tip in a Tavares point shot, his three-point night giving the captain seven in his past three games.
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Pierre Engvall brought the Leafs to within one when he tipped a Tyson Barrie shot past Georgiev at 6:22 of the third.
In the absence of forward forward Ilya Mikheyev (wrist surgery), 23-year-old Adam Brooks made his National Hockey League debut.
It's another tough loss for the Maple Leafs, who look to extend to their six-game winning streak without the help of several key pieces of the lineup, Muzzin most certainly among them.
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The Buckeyes' offense managed 70 yards in the third quarter, but there were more controversial calls that got in the way. On Haubeil's first field goal, Ohio State drove 71 yards but couldn't put the ball into the end zone.
Never mind Mikheyev's solid play, the 25-year-old forward quickly became popular among his Leafs teammates for his desire to become a comfortable piece of the team off the ice. The image below highlights each player who has missed games this season, and the players who are now injured.
Maple Leafs sniper Auston Matthews agreed.
It did not start well for Toronto as Howden opened the scoring 1:41 into the game. The Maple Leafs are 5-4. "Got out on the ice with all of my childhood hockey buddies oh and these 3 legends", he captioned a very large group snap from the day that was where he was all dressed up as an NHL star. But Zibanejad restored the two-goal lead, coming down the right side and freezing Anderson before slipping a shot through his pads.
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Mikheyev is expected to make a full recovery; he will remain at University Hospital in Newark, New Jersey, for further monitoring before returning to Toronto. He immediately went to the locker room following the incident and was transported to the hospital, where he stayed overnight.