The Toronto Maple Leafs jumped out to a lead and cruised to a 5-1 win at Edmonton Tuesday. Auston Matthews scored a pair of goals to lead the Maple Leafs attack.
Late in the first period, Auston Matthews scored on the power play. After a bit of a scramble near the net, John Tavares passed across the crease to Matthews and he made no mistake at 19:25 of the first period.
The Maple Leafs extended their lead at 8:47 of the second period when Wayne Simmonds gathered in a loose puck at the top of the crease and tucked it around Oilers goaltender Mikko Koskinen. It was Simmonds’ fourth goal of the season and a big contribution from Toronto’s fourth line.
At 14:54 of the second period, Maple Leafs defenceman T.J. Brodie fired a shot that deflected off of Connor McDavid’s stick and past Koskinen. It was Brodie’s first goal of the season.
The Oilers had generated quite a few quality opportunities early in the second period, but Jack Campbell was there at every turn to thwart their scoring chances.
Edmonton got on the board at 5:26 of the third period. Zack Kassian had a chance with a bouncing puck and the loose puck ended up with Colton Sceviour who recorded his first goal of the season.
Just in case the Oilers had designs on a comeback, the Maple Leafs turned up the heat. At 6:33 of the period, William Nylander pulled away from Connor McDavid, carrying the puck from the Toronto zone all the way behind the Oilers net and as he came around the net, Nylander found Morgan Rielly in the left-wing faceoff circle. Rielly snapped a shot top shelf to restore Toronto’s three-goal lead.
A failed clearing attempt by the Oilers resulted in Auston Matthews with time and space in the high slot and he ripped a wrist shot past Koskinen’s blocker. That was Matthews’ 20th goal of the season. He is just three behind the Oilers’ Leon Draisaitl for the league lead. Draisaitl had an incredible miss of an empty net in the first period of this game.
Auston Matthews had a pair of goals for the Maple Leafs, Morgan Rielly added a goal and an assist, and Ondrej Kase contributed a pair of assists.
Jack Campbell stopped 35 of 36 shots for the victory. He has a .937 save percentage in 23 games this season.
Mikko Koskinen made 20 saves on 25 shots in taking the loss. He has a .902 save percentage through 18 appearances this season.
The Maple Leafs improve to 20-8-2, moving into first place in the Atlantic Division. They will continue their road trip in Vancouver on Saturday. Edmonton’s losing streak runs to six. They are having serious problems scoring, managing a total of nine goals in those six losses.
Quotes and takeaways coming soon.
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