National Hockey League roundup: Maple Leafs in playoffs for first time since '13

"Might as well just jump in".

The Andersen injury is a potential major concern for obvious reasons: Without him and what he has done in the regular season, the Leafs wouldn't have been fighting for a playoff spot on the final weekend of the 2016-17 schedule. By then they should have starting goaltender Frederik Andersen back in the crease, which will provide a huge boost.

Asked on Sunday if Andersen had any concussion symptoms, Babcock said: "No symptoms". It's a great time to be a Toronto sports fan.

"I think the city's probably buzzing", Brown said.

But as we are all aware, the Stanley Cup Playoffs are different. The moments get big and you've got to be able to push through it. "You just look at what you're doing". Both teams have 94 points with one game remaining, and if they remain tied when the season ends, the Flames will have the advantage due to their 41-39 edge in ROW.

"Same thing here in hockey", he said. "You want to make sure you play in the playoffs". This series won't be easy, but the playoffs are supposed to be hard.

James van Riemsdyk and Tyler Bozak also scored for the Maple Leafs (40-26-15).

Holding leads hasn't been an issue for the Leafs recently, but it was on Sunday.

The Penguins went ahead at 6:51 of the third period on the kind of goal you would have to see to believe. The Leafs, however, never did have the consistent energy that Babcock thought he would see, and Columbus reeled off three goals by the end of the second, getting the victor from Cam Atkinson while shorthanded.

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Middleton's driving dunk with 1:17 to play closed out the scoring in the first quarter and gave Milwaukee a 30-22 lead. Lowry came out in front of the Toronto faithful on Tuesday night as if his Game 1 stink bomb never happened.

After Phil Kessel scored the 1-0 goal in the first period, "the kid traded for Kessel" - Kasperi Kapanen - answered with the 3-3 tally in the third, his first career National Hockey League goal (and what a pass by Matt Hunwick!).

While all eight Western Conference playoff spots were decided Sunday, none of the matchups are set.

Toronto Maple Leafs goalie Garret Sparks makes a save against the Anaheim Ducks during third period National Hockey League action in Toronto on Thursday, March 24, 2016.

Not much changed during the early parts of the second period. "You want to gain home ice and match up who you play best against". Toronto's weakest position all season has been defence, and losing Zaitsev for even one playoff game would be devastating, but Babcock said he was "not" concerned the rookie wouldn't be ready for Game 1.

"Not yet", defenceman Morgan Rielly said.

Now the Leafs have to avoid any notion of eating humble pie Monday morning, after their second straight chance to qualify for the playoffs for the first time in four years with a home victory ended in a resounding 4-1 loss.

The Maple Leafs struck back 29 seconds later when van Riemsdyk potted his 27th goal of the season from the high slot. He returned to a full practice on Friday and is expected to play in one of the team's last two regular-season games. It has already been determined the Penguins and Blue Jackets will play each other in the first round.

"It's a big year for them, a lot on the line". On Sunday, Toronto won 59 percent of its draws mostly because of how strong the two veterans were.

But based on the recent results, it shouldn't make a major difference who is across the ice from the Capitals in the first round. With Josh Archibald off for tripping at 16:51, the Leafs mustered next to nothing, at times keeping the puck in their own zone for long stretches. William Nylander rang a shot off the post. Toronto's a very fast team and Washington has struggled a bit against faster teams.