Tavares scores three points in the 3-2 victory for the Maple Leafs
John Tavares had a goal and two assists as the Toronto Maple Leafs held on for a 3-2 victory over the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday.
“Probably, other than the last couple of minutes, we played a really good road game,” Tavares said. “We didn’t get rewarded as much as I think we could have. Everyone was doing a lot of good things out there and making it hard for them to establish any offense or any momentum. We generated some chances and did a good job getting a three-goal lead that proved to be enough.”
Morgan Rielly and Jake Muzzin also scored. While Frederik Andersen made 33 saves for the Maple Leafs (42-21-5). Who have gone 6-1-1 in their last eight games.
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Oscar Kelfbom responded for the Oilers (30-31-7). Who had a four-game winning streak halted. Anthony Stolarz stopped 37 shots in defeat.
Stolarz was a surprise starter when it was announced Mikko Koskinen wouldn’t dress due to an illness.
It took the Maple Leafs 16 first-period shots before they got one past Stolarz. They scored on a Rielly point shot on the power play with just 14 seconds left in the opening frame.
Andersen came up big when called upon in the first half of the game. He made a couple of huge saves from Edmonton forward Leon Draisaitl.
Toronto took a 2-0 lead at 12:28 of the second when Tavares shrugged off a defender and made a nice move before chipping his 38th of the season over Stolarz.
The Leafs added to their lead three minutes into the third. When William Nylander made a great feed across the ice to allow Muzzin to score.
Edmonton broke Andersen’s shutout bid with 1:39 left with the goalie pulled on a goal by Nugent-Hopkins. Draisaitl got an assist to extend his points streak to 13 games. The longest active streak in the NHL.
The Oilers got another goal with Stolarz on the bench when Connor McDavid set up a pinching Klefbom with just 53 seconds remaining, but Edmonton couldn’t complete the comeback.
Andersen didn’t get the ending he (or the Leafs) wanted on Wednesday in Vancouver, blowing a two-goal third-period lead and then ceding the overtime game-winner to lose a crucial road point.
With two days off in between to reset, Andersen was back on form against the Oilers, with a tight, efficient showing to backstop Toronto to his 33rd win of the season, tied for most by a goalie in the NHL.
For the second straight outing, Andersen was perfect through two periods in Edmonton, turning aside all 19 shots he faced.
It was the second and final meeting between the two teams. Toronto won the first game 6-2 at home back on Feb. 27th.
Oilers forward Milan Lucic was a late scratch with an injury, the first game he has missed since signing with Edmonton three years ago. While Leafs centre Nazem Kadri returned to the lineup after missing the past eight games with a concussion.
The Leafs return home to face the league-leading Tampa Bay Lightning on Monday.