Maple Leafs pull away from Kings on Matthews, Nylander goals in third
- Auston Matthews and William Nylander each had a goal and an assist in the third period for the Toronto Maple Leafs in a 3-1 win against the Los Angeles Kings at Scotiabank Arena on Tuesday.
- Matthews gave Toronto a 2-1 lead at 12:36 when he put in a loose puck in the slot.
- Mitchell Marner played it toward the slot while falling along the goal line, and it went off Nylander’s skate to Matthews.
“I think we just stayed patient throughout the whole game,” Matthews said. “There wasn’t much going on in the first two periods. We tried to stay patient and play as little in our zone as we could. It was a tight game, but we were able to get a couple of big goals in the third.”
- Nylander scored 30 seconds later off a pass from Matthews on a 2-on-1 to make it 3-1 at 13:06.
- The assist was Matthews’ 100th in the NHL.
“I was just looking to dish it back to Auston, and then I saw their defenseman stayed with him and that [goalie Jonathan] Quick was kind of set,” Nylander said. “I was able to pull it to the middle, and [Quick] just kind of opened up.”
- Alexander Kerfoot scored, and Frederik Andersen made 24 saves for the Maple Leafs (8-5-3), who have won two straight and are 3-1-1 in their past five games.
“Some people thought that was ugly, I thought it was beautiful,” Toronto coach Mike Babcock said. “We need to go through that and figure out who we are, and the harder the game is, the better it is. Would you like to win by a touchdown and everyone relaxes? Sure, but we’re not getting anywhere like that. This was important, give up one goal, play well without the puck, we had to grind. It was good for us.”
- Alex Iafallo scored, and Quick made 20 saves for the Kings (5-10-0), who have lost five of six.
“It comes down to wins and losses,” Quick said. “We lost, that’s it, move on. We have to try to get a win [against the Ottawa Senators on Thursday]. There’s always is (stuff to build on), there’s always stuff we have to correct.”
- Kings defenseman Drew Doughty played a game-high 27:56 and had a game-high five shots. …
- Defenseman Jake Muzzin faced Los Angeles for the first time since it traded him to Toronto on Jan. 28. He had 213 points (51 goals, 162 assists) in 469 games over eight seasons with the Kings and won the Stanley Cup with them in 2014. …
- Tavares returned after missing the previous seven games with a broken finger.
- He had two shots on goal in 18:00. …
- Babcock coached his 1,294th game, tying Jacques Martin for 12th in NHL history.
- Jeff Carter caught Alexander Kerfoot with a huge open ice hit that forces the Toronto forward to go to the locker room.
Sources & Credits: Dave McCarthy / NHL.com, TOR Maple Leafs, LA Kings