The Toronto Maple Leafs returned to the win column with a 3-0 win at the New York Islanders Sunday. Rookie goaltender Joseph Woll stopped all 20 shots that he faced for his first career shutout in his second NHL start. Mitch Marner scored a pair of goals to lead the Maple Leafs attack.
Having lost 2-0 at home to Pittsburgh Saturday, the Maple Leafs needed a rebound effort and a matchup with the Islanders presented a prime opportunity.
The Islanders have lost six straight games and have a lineup that has been decimated by players getting put into Covid protocol.
Mitch Marner got the Maple Leafs on the board at 3:31 of the first period. He scored Toronto’s first shorthanded goal of the season. Jake Muzzin hit Marner with a long-distance pass from goalline to far blueline. Marner drove to the net, ahead of Islanders centre Mathew Barzal, before deking to his backhand to put the puck past goaltender Ilya Sorokin.
While Toronto controlled play in dominant fashion throughout the game, outshooting the Isles 40-20, the goals did not come easily.
The Maple Leafs grabbed some insurance two minutes into the third period, when Ondrej Kase finished off an effective forecheck. Nick Ritchie won a battle with Islanders defenceman Grant Hutton, tipping the puck to David Kampf, who found Kase in the slot for a one-timer into the Islanders net. Kase was a buzzsaw for most of the night, so he deserved to be rewarded. It was Kase’s fifth goal of the season.
Marner scored his second of the game working a give-and-go with Michael Bunting, who found Marner at the back post. It was Marner’s second goal of the game and sixth goal of the season.
More Problems for Isles
Brock Nelson, the Islanders’ leading scorer, appeared to suffer a lower-body injury and ended up playing just 5:33 in the game. When it rains, it pours.
Joseph Woll was not tested very much in the Toronto net. An Anthony Beauvillier breakaway early in the third period rolled away from the Islanders winger. The Islanders power play did not create dangerous opportunities and surrendered a shorthanded goal.
The Islanders drop to 5-8-2, the worst record in the Metropolitan Division.
The Maple Leafs improved their record to 13-6-1 and they remain in second place in the Atlantic Division. They will return to action Wednesday night when the Maple Leafs embark on the California swing, starting with a game against the Kings in Los Angeles.
Takeaways and quotes coming soon.
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