The Toronto Maple Leafs continued their successful road trip with a 5-1 win at San Jose Friday. William Nylander and John Tavares both had a goal and an assist while Joseph Woll turned away 34 of 35 shots in the victory.
The Maple Leafs are now 13-2 in their past 15 games. The Sharks drop to 10-9-1.
William Nylander got the Maple Leafs on the board early, 32 seconds into the first period. Morgan Rielly tried to make a move in neutral ice and the puck was poked off his stick. John Tavares tried to play it and only got a piece of it, but that deflection sent Nylander in all alone on James Reimer. A deke to the backhand and it was quickly 1-0 for the Maple Leafs. It was Nylander’s eighth goal of the season. He had gone seven games without a goal before lighting the lamp.
I noted after Wednesday’s win in Los Angeles that Nylander had been slumping of late. He busted out of it against the Sharks. Not only did he have a goal and an assist, but Nylander also recorded a team-leading 11 shot attempts and eight shots on goal.
San Jose evened it up at 4:44 of the first period when Nick Bonino scored his second goal in as many games. After some scrambly play along the boards in the Maple Leafs zone, Bonino emerged and took what looked like a harmless shot that snuck under Maple Leafs goaltender Joseph Woll.
Wayne Simmonds gave Toronto a 2-1 lead 32 seconds later, at 5:16 of the first period. The puck was bouncing as the Leafs entered the San Jose zone, but Nick Ritchie corralled it, dropped the puck for David Kampf and Kampf’s shot was deflected over Reimer’s glove by Simmonds, parked on the doorstep. It was Simmonds’ second goal of the season.
Auston Matthews extended the Maple Leafs lead at 4:57 of the second period. He gained position in front of Reimer and deposited a rebound past the Sharks goaltender. The goal was Matthews’ ninth of the season.
Alexander Kerfoot stopped by James Reimer on a shorthanded breakaway.
Reimer robs Kerfoot on the shorthanded breakaway pic.twitter.com/fjvqdvZp82
— alberto (@twistedleafs) November 27, 2021
But the Maple Leafs kept coming and chased Reimer at 10:44 of the second period. John Tavares pounced on a rebound during a Maple Leafs power play and buried his 10th goal of the season to make it 4-1 Toronto. Adin Hill took over in the San Jose net after Tavares’ goal and stopped all 16 shots that he faced.
Reimer was pulled after allowing four goals on 17 shots.
Toronto will wrap up their California trip in Anaheim Sunday. The Maple Leafs will then return home to face the Colorado Avalanche on Wednesday.
Takeaways and quotes coming in the morning.
Jason Spezza sent Jacob Middleton back to junior pic.twitter.com/hpC6xmwYET
— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) November 27, 2021
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