It definitely wasn’t the longest shootout of all time–last month, a 21-round shootout featuring 42 shooters was needed to decide an ECHL game–but the 10-round skills competition needed to end the game between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Winnipeg Jets actually had even bigger effects than just giving the Leafs only one point in the standings. That’s because the Jets took over first place in the Southeast Division with the 5-4 win.
The Maple Leafs actually played a decent first period, too, getting the first goal of the game from the newly-healthy Joffrey Lupul. The penalties were out of control in the first 20, though, and included fighting majors, instigators, misconducts and more. But after the first intermission, the tone of the game changed dramatically out of Toronto’s favor.
Winnipeg piled on four consecutive goals before Nikolai Kulemin finally tried to stop the bleeding late in the period and Lupul helped the Maple Leafs bring it back within one. In the third period, Phil Kessel put an end to Toronto being behind and made the game 4-4, which it remained throughout a penalty-free third (and a penalty-free second, too) and overtime, despite the home team’s efforts to get a win. Thus, the shootout began.
Tyler Bozak scored in the second round to answer Blake Wheeler‘s opening-round tally, knotting up the shootout at one apiece. Lupul and Kessel got their tries, followed by Matt Frattin, James van Riemsdyk, Cody Franson, Clarke MacArthur, Dion Phaneuf and finally Kulemin, but Zach Bogosian ended it in round 10.
Coach Randy Carlyle‘s omission of Mikhail Grabovski was not without its criticism, though, especially from Adam Proteau of The Hockey News.
Despite this unusual loss, though, the Maple Leafs remain in the playoff picture, sitting at sixth place. They will not play again until March 20 against the Tampa Bay Lightning.