A foolish penalty in the third period by Cody Eakin helped the Toronto Maple Leafs put the game away in a 3-1 victory against the Dallas Stars.
Eakin was called for cross-checking Mitch Marner in the offensive zone 4:53 into the third period when Dallas trailed 2-1. That immediately led to an unfortunate series of events for Dallas, including back-to-back 5-on-3 power plays that finally turned into a put-away goal by Nikita Zaitsev.
“The Eakin penalty is something we can’t take,” Stars coach Lindy Ruff said. “We were just getting back in the game and we gave them a little bit of life.”
It sullied an overall strong game for Eakin, who has struggled throughout the season. Before the penalty Eakin played well and was given more ice time (21 minutes, 42 seconds) than any other forward as the Stars pushed for a comeback.
9:09 Jake Gardiner scored on a point shot that probably should have been stopped by Antti Niemi. Maple Leafs 1, Stars 0
Gardiner gets a pass from Marner off a Bozak win and blasts it past Niemi. 1-0 Leafs. pic.twitter.com/hEkgx9oJBk
— Dylan Nadwodny (@dnadders) February 8, 2017
17:32 Auston Matthews tipped a point shot by Gardiner past Niemi. Maple Leafs 2, Stars 0
4:00 Tyler Seguin scored two seconds into the power play on a one-timed blast after a face-off win by Cody Eakin. Maple Leafs 2, Stars 1
7:26 Nikita Zaitsev gave Toronto the insurance goal it needed on a 5-on-3 power play. Maple Leafs 3, Stars 1
The Stars shuffled the lines and played Cody Eakin between Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn in the third period.