Leafs' Kadri shows he's more than just a sniper

Maple Leafs centre Nazem Kadri scored a goal and played well without the puck versus the Penguins...

Maple Leafs centre Nazem Kadri scored a goal and played well without the puck versus the Penguins on Saturday. (Getty Images/AFP)

ROB LONGLEY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:32 PM ET

The game-winning goal was a thing of beauty, but it was what Nazem Kadri did away from the puck on Saturday night that may have impressed the critical eyes of those who employ him.

Kadri’s backhand-to-forehand to top-shelf goal early in the third period provided the highlight moves he relishes, not to mention the dagger in handing the Penguins a third consecutive loss.

But as the game went on in his assignment of first-line centre duties replacing injured Tyler Bozak, Kadri showed Leafs coach Randy Carlyle even more on the way to a 4-1 Toronto win.

Kadri saw some penalty-kill time and late-game minutes as the Leafs put together one of their more impressive defensive efforts late in the game.

“Just be reliable,” Kadri said when asked about who he approached the role. “Obviously, I want to focus on what I can do and that’s put the puck in the net and helping the team that way.


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