Ilya Samsonov let down by his teammates on Sunday night.

Ilya Samsonov let down by his teammates on Sunday night.

The Toronto Maple Leafs let down the returning Ilya Samsonov in his comeback game.

Jonathan Larivee

The Toronto Maple Leafs got a big return to the lineup on Sunday night when goaltender Ilya Samsonov made his first start since being placed on waivers back in December.

Given that Samsonov's confidence had clearly been shaken you would have expected his teammates to put on a heroic performance in front of their returning goaltender, but unfortunately for Samsonov he didn't receive the help he needed from those teammates in the game's critical moments.

One such critical moment would be the game winning goal, one that came off a Maple Leafs turnover followed by a complete defensive breakdown in front of Samsonov:

In spite of making some big saves throughout the course of the game, Samsonov would fail to secure the win, giving up 3 goals against a Detroit Red Wings team that would add an empty netter to take the win by a score of 4-2. Following the game, Mitch Marner acknowledged that he and his teammates had failed to deliver the performance that Samsonov deserved.

"He made some massive saves to help us win that game and we gotta do our job to help him out with that," said Marner.

The Maple Leafs were gifted a golden opportunity to get their struggling netminder a win, with the Red Wings dealing with severe travel issues that caused them to arrive just on time for the game on Sunday. On top of that the Maple Leafs were gifted 3 early power plays in the first period, but would fail to capitalize on all 3 in spite of the fact that they were facing a travel weary Red Wings squad.

The Maple Leafs not only let their goaltender down on Sunday night, but have also allowed the Red Wings to climb to within just 1 point of them in the Atlantic Division standings as a result of this loss.