The Toronto Maple Leafs stayed hot and downed the Nashville Predators 3-0 Tuesday. The Maple Leaf have won nine of their past 10 games and sit second in the Atlantic Division with an 11-5-1 record. While the Predators did not generate a lot of shots, they still had quite a few quality chances that forced Jack Campbell to be on top of his game so he earned his 24-save shutout.
Jack Campbell is up to a .943 save percentage in 14 games this season. That might be unsustainable, but he has been undeniably effective while playing more than expected due to Petr Mrazek’s injury. This was Jack Campbell’s third shutout of the season and seventh of his career. It was his 100th career appearance in the NHL.
The Maple Leafs controlled play for large chunks of the game but had a difficult time beating Predators goaltender Juuse Saros. That should not come as a huge surprise because Saros is really good! Ultimately, the Predators netminder turned aside 31 of 33 shots.
Auston Matthews opened the scoring on the power play. At 7:37 of the first period, Morgan Rielly passed across ice to William Nylander in the right-wing circle and Nylander then fired a pass back across the ice to Matthews in the left-wing circle. Matthews buried a wrist shot low stick side past Saros. It was Matthews’ seventh goal in his 14th game of the season.
The Maple Leafs added some insurance at 16:04 of the third period. Ondrej Kase won a puck battle deep on the Nashville zone and found David Kampf in the slot. Kampf one-timed the puck low glove side past Saros. Kase is proving to be an industrious addition to the Maple Leafs. In addition to his assist against Nashville, he tied Morgan Rielly for the team lead with five shots on goal.
Mitch Marner capped the scoring for Toronto, scoring an empty-net goal with 22.6 seconds remaining. It was Marner’s fourth goal, from Kampf and Matthews. Kampf had one point through the first 13 games of the season but now has four points (2 G, 2 A) in the past four games. This was Kampf’s first multi-point game since December 20, 2018.
The Maple Leafs have been playing low event hockey and having some success. Against Nashville, the Maple Leafs allowed 45 total shot attempts, which is tied for the second-lowest total against the Maple Leafs this season.
According to Natural Stat Trick, the Maple Leafs had 4.91 expected goals in the game, a season high. Like I said, Saros is good!
Former Maple Leafs captain Dion Phaneuf was honoured before the game as he officially announced his retirement from the NHL.
Takeaways and quotes coming soon.
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