EDMONTON, Alberta (AP)Auston Matthews had two goals and the Toronto Maple Leafs won their second straight game, beating the struggling Edmonton Oilers 5-1 on Tuesday night.
Matthews is closing in on the NHL’s goal-scoring lead. He has 13 goals in his last 10 games for 20 on the season and is three back of Edmonton’s Leon Draisaitl for tops in the league.
”It was a pretty solid game other than maybe the second period,” Matthews said. ”I thought the first 10 minutes there they really took control of the game and we were just a little bit back on our heels. But (goalie Jack Campbell) made some unbelievable saves, not only in that period, but the whole game and we just kind of weathered the storm and then we were able to give ourselves a bit of a cushion in the third.”
Wayne Simmonds, TJ Brodie and Morgan Rielly also scored for the Maple Leafs, who improved to 8-4-1 on the road. Jack Campbell stopped 35 shots.
”I thought our guys did a really good job of capitalizing on our chances, making good on them and I thought we played a really disciplined game defensively,” Toronto head coach Sheldon Keefe said. ”We responded well when we needed to. It’s not a perfect game by any means but it’s a good effort by our team against a team on the other side that’s pushing hard and looking for a win. We did a lot tonight to make sure we made it difficult for them.”
Colton Sceviour scored for the Oilers, losers of six straight games, including all five games on their current homestand. Mikko Koskinen made 20 saves.
”It is obviously very frustrating,” Sceviour said. ”It is one of those stretches that I don’t remember being in in pro hockey, being that snake-bitten. At some point, we are going to get out of this, and the only way is by working and playing the right way.”
Edmonton once again allowed the game’s first goal.
John Tavares fished the puck out of a scramble in front of the net and got it across to Matthews, who sent a shot past Oilers goalie Koskinen with 35 seconds to go in the opening frame. The power-play goal extended Matthews’ point streak to 10 games.
The Oilers have allowed the first goal of the game in 15 of their last 20 contests, winning all five of the games in which they scored first.
Toronto added to its lead nine minutes into the second period as Simmonds battled hard in front to sweep home a rebound.
Brodie made it 3-0 with five minutes left in the middle frame when his shot deflected off a defender into the net for his first goal of the season.
Edmonton got on the board on its 32nd shot five-and-a-half minutes into the third when a bad bounce ended up on Sceviour’s stick and behind Campbell for his first of the year.
Just over a minute later, the Maple Leafs responded as Rielly beat Koskinen high to the blocker side.
Toronto padded its lead with three minutes left as Matthews scored on a shot from the slot for his 20th of the season.
TIPPETT INTO PROTOCOL
Oilers head coach Dave Tippett was placed in the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol after the game.
Tippett didn’t coach the game after being held out for precautionary reasons. He was officially put into the protocol after the game.
Oilers forward Ryan McLeod was placed in the protocol before the game.
NOTES: The Oilers got veteran defenseman Duncan Keith back after missing the last eight games, but lost the services of former Maple Leafs forward Zach Hyman to an undisclosed injury. Also missing from the Oilers lineup were Mike Smith (lower body), Slater Koekkoek (lower body), Kris Russell (upper body). … Out with injuries for Toronto were Mitchell Marner (shoulder) and Rasmus Sandin (knee). Forward Ilya Mikheyev returned to Toronto’s lineup, playing his first game of the season following a broken thumb, and defenseman Travis Dermott, after missing four games with a shoulder injury.
Toronto: At Calgary Flames on Thursday in the second game of a four-game trip.
Edmonton: Host Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday in the finale of a six-game homestand.
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