Arizona Coyotes beat the Toronto Maple Leafs 2-0

Darcy Kuemper stopped 21 shots as the Arizona Coyotes spoiled Auston Matthews’ return to his hometown with a 2-0 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday night.

Arizona won the teams’ first meeting 4-2 in Toronto last month. They took control of the rematch with goals by Alex Galchenyuk and Josh Archibald in the second period.

The Maple Leafs arrived in the desert playing well. Winning six of their previous seven games. Toronto couldn’t match Arizona’s energy in its fifth game of a six-game trip. Only managing 16 shots until pulling goalie Frederik Andersen with 3 1/2 minutes left.

Kuemper was sharp after allowing four goals his previous start. Thus earning his second shutout of the season and No. 13 for his career.

Andersen made 27 saves.

Matthews grew up in Scottsdale and became the first Arizona-born player to be selected No. 1 overall in the NHL draft in 2016.

He arrived home on a hot streak.

Matthews scored two goals in the Leafs’ 6-3 win over Vegas on Thursday night. Including the 100th of his career. Giving him six points in two games.

Arizona held Matthews in check most of the night, limiting his scoring chances while frustrating all the Maple Leafs.

The Coyotes had a sluggish start against St. Louis in their last game, falling into a 2-0 first-period hole in a 4-0 loss Thursday night.

Arizona were much sharper against the Maple Leafs, playing well in its own end and creating numerous scoring chances. Andersen made some difficult saves and Archibald missed the net left on a short breakaway.

The Coyotes kept buzzing the offensive zone in the second and Galchenyuk scored his team-leading 13th goal early in the period, one-timing a pass from Jordan Oesterle from the right circle over a sliding Anderson.

Archibald made it 2-0 about two minutes later. When he lifted the puck over Andersen’s glove side on a rebound off a Derek Stepan shot.

Kuemper made a series of saves later in the period after Oliver Ekman-Larsson was called for a four-minute high-sticking penalty. Including a shot by Tyler Ennis from just outside the crease.

Toronto’s William Nylander appeared to have scored an incredible goal early in the third period. Catching a flying puck with his stick and pulling it backwards. The puck hit his shoulder and caromed past Kuemper. But the officials ruled he hit it with a high stick. A video review confirmed the call.

“I thought we started really good. We owned the puck for eight straight minutes and that was it for the night. The next 52 were theirs.” Leafs head coach Mike Babcock said after the game. “(The Coyotes) played harder. They were above the puck, they did things right, they did exactly what we said they were going to do. We created a plan to have success against it. But we didn’t work hard enough to make that happen.”

Toronto’s Andreas Johnsson did not play after injuring his leg against the Golden Knights. This meeting was the 100th between the franchises. Dating to 1979, when the Coyotes were still in Winnipeg.

The Leafs play St Louis next.

Peace,

Burke.

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