One of the biggest positives for the NHL’s transition to three-on-three overtime is the ability for skilled players to utilize more space to utilize the space to let their talent shine. That’s exactly what Mitch Marner did on Wednesday evening, carrying the Toronto Maple Leafs to a 3-2 overtime win over the New York Rangers in spectacular fashion.
Right after the opening faceoff, Marner collected the puck deep in his own zone and began building speed. Once he crossed into the offensive zone, he slowed down, considered his options and accelerated around all three Rangers on the ice, leaving a sprawled Igor Shesterkin in the dust.
"There's a snowstorm. I'm just trying to get out of here before I hit traffic," Marner joked after his goal.
Fans couldn't hold in their excitement over the 25-year-old's heroic individual effort.
This was Marner’s 18th goal of the campaign and his 57th point in just 49 games, helping the Leafs’ offence become one of the deadliest in the league. Tied for the team-lead in points, Marner has emerged as more than just Auston Matthews' sidekick.
Timothy Liljegren tied the game in the third period after Filip Chytil put the Rangers put 2-1 with a pair of goals in the second frame. Ilya Samsonov saved 27 out of 29 shots to notch his 16th win of the season.
While the Boston Bruins are running away with the Eastern Conference and the President’s Trophy while breaking records in the process, the battle for the remaining top spots in the East is still going on. This win pushes the Leafs to 68 points, two ahead of both the Carolina Hurricanes and New Jersey Devils. With three games left on their five-game home stand that ends with the Bruins, Toronto will be looking to pick up some valuable points in front of the Scotiabank Arena crowd.
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