This is not the way to protect a third-period lead

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sport

The Toronto Maple Leafs had a two-goal lead entering the third period. It was all downhill from there.

The Pittsburgh Penguins were a sloppy mess for two periods on Wednesday night.

Turnovers. Giveaways. Guys out of position. It was ugly, and the Toronto Maple Leafs were more than happy to take advantage. After a Tyler Bozak goal with 4.9 seconds to play in the second period they even took a 5-3 lead into the third period and seemed to be on their way to a tough win on the road.

That Bozak goal would be the last shot on goal the Maple Leafs would record on the night, and man did it come back to bite them.

They went on to lose 6-5 in a shootout.

Over the final 25 minutes of hockey the Maple Leafs were outshot 19-0 and outscored 2-0. Getting badly outshot has been a major problem for the Maple Leafs for two years now but thanks in large part to their stellar goaltending they've managed to overcome it and win a lot of hockey games.

Not even the play of Jonathan Bernier was enough to bail them out on this night.

The Penguins were relentless in the third period and it was Evgeni Malkin leading the way, scoring the tying goal (his second goal of the game) to send it to overtime. He would go on to win it in the shootout.

Just took a look at the shot attempt chart for the night, via Extra Skater.


It's pretty even and then it becomes clear where Pittsburgh took over and started to pull away.

This game opened a brutal part of Toronto's schedule where they play Pittsburgh (twice), San Jose, St. Louis, Chicago, Los Angeles, Boston, Phoenix, and Detroit over the next 14 games.

This had to be a frustrating start.

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