Toronto Maple Leafs Collapse in the Third

John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

Ouch. The Toronto Maple Leafs had all the potential trappings of a victory against the Pittsburgh Penguins, including a one to nothing lead as of the middle of the second period thanks to Tyler Bozak‘s seventh of the season, but then the final period started and the Leafs did exactly what the Boston Bruins did against the Penguins earlier in the week. They deflated like a badly-made souffle late in the third period.

The Leafs and their long-suffering fans–in their home barn, no less–watched Pascal Dupuis tie it up, create a 2-1 lead five minutes later with another goal and then Craig Adams totally completed the 3-1 comeback with a shorthanded empty net goal.

This eventual game-winning burst of offense from the most offensively gifted team in the NHL–3.61 goals for per game as opposed to Toronto’s 2.93, which is still eighth best–came in the last eight minutes of regulation.

Just like when the Bruins made like a bad souffle against the Pens, breakdowns in the defensive zone caused Pittsburgh to find its way into the game and then turn it into their own. That also increased their win streak to seven in a row while Toronto slumped to four consecutive losses.

In some different news, though, the Leafs have made a trade with the Anaheim Ducks. They’ll send David Steckel off to Orange County in exchange for Ryan Lasch and Anaheim’s seventh-round pick in the 2014 draft. This trade also opens up a spot in the Leafs’ roster for the return of Joffrey Lupul, who’s just been cleared for contact and could very well return on Saturday when the Leafs keep it Canadian and face the Winnipeg Jets.

 

Emma Harger is an NHL Senior Writer for RantSports.com. Follow her on Twitter, like her on Facebook and add her to your network on Google.

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