The Toronto Maple Leafs rolled into Los Angeles and stomped the Kings 6-2 Wednesday, avenging a 5-1 loss to the Kings earlier in the month. Auston Matthews and John Tavares both had a goal and an assist for the Maple Leafs.
While the Toronto Maple Leafs have been on a good run of late, winning 12 of 14 games, there has been some concern about the team’s scoring, especially during 5-on-5 play. In their previous 10 games, the Maple Leafs scored 1.56 goals per 60 minutes, the lowest rate in the league over that span.
But if that was any kind of concern coming into the game, it certainly wasn’t after a four-goal outburst in the second period.
Alexander Kerfoot got the Leafs on the board, putting a backhand over Jonathan Quick’s glove. Kerfoot was at the top of the crease when he took a pass from Ondrej Kase.
The Kings evened the score at 1:21 of the second period. Former Maple Leafs prospects Sean Durzi fired a shot that hit Kings winger Viktor Arvidsson in front of the net and the deflection got past Jack Campbell.
That tie did not last long. At 3:19 of the second period, Pierre Engvall finished off a tap in at the back post on a feed from Wayne Simmonds. It was Engvall’s first goal since the opening game of the season and it was Simmonds’ second assist of the game.
The goals kept coming. At 5:26 of the second period, John Tavares deflected a William Nylander shot past Jonathan Quick. It was Tavares’ ninth goal of the season.
Tavares was at it again, working behind the Kings’ net with Auston Matthews. Tavares emerged from a 2-on-2 battle with the puck and was stopped by Quick, but Matthews knocked in the rebound at 13:16 of the second period. It was Matthews’ eighth goal of the season.
The Maple Leafs were not done. At 15:36 of the second period, Jason Spezza launched a rocket of a slap shot from the right face-off circle, beating Quick, who was screened by Nick Ritchie on the play.
— Tim and Friends (@timandfriends) November 25, 2021
At 3:59 of the third period, Jonathan Quick made a spectacular diving save on a Rasmus Sandin shot and Michael Bunting tried to knock in the loose puck in the crease. It hit the post then banked off Kings centre Phillip Danault and trickled into the net to give the Maple Leafs a 6-1 lead.
Sean Durzi scored a late power play goal, at 16:06 of the third period. It came in a loss but a goal and an assist in his NHL debut is a remarkable first game.
The Maple Leafs had to play most of the game without centre David Kampf, who was knocked out of the game 1:25 into the first period. Kings rookie Rasmus Kupari was somehow given a tripping penalty on the play depite a hit to the head.
Although the Maple Leafs have been grinding out wins rather successfully, it is good to get blowout wins, too. They don’t require the goaltender to stand on his head and are not as reliant on good fortune. There was no disputing which team was better on this night.
Rasmus Sandin led the Maple Leafs with three points, all assists. Auston Matthews, John Tavares, and Pierre Engvall each had a goal and an assist. Wayne Simmonds and T.J. Brodie both had a pair of assists.
Maple Leafs goaltender Jack Campell stopped 30 of 32 shots for the win. Jonathan Quick had 32 saves on 38 shots in the Kings net.
Viktor Arvidsson and Sean Durzi finished with a goal and an assist for the Kings.
The Maple Leafs are 14-6-1 and remain in second place in the Atlantic Division. The Kings fall to 8-8-3 and are in sixth spot in the Pacific Division.
Toronto will play at San Jose Friday.
Takeaways and quotes coming soon.
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