Toronto Maple Leafs hammer Vancouver Canucks 4-1

Auston Matthews opened the scoring for the Maple Leafs at 1:45 of the second period. Matthews has goals (3) in two consecutive games. He has 15 points (9 goals, 6 assists) in 12 games against Western Conference opposition and six points (5 goals, 1 assist) in six games against Pacific Division teams. Matthews has seven points (4-3-7) in seven career games against the Canucks.

John Tavares registered the primary assist on Matthews’ second period goal and later scored the second Toronto goal of the game at 19:40 of the second period before notching the third Maple Leafs goal of the night at 14:58 of the third. Tonight’s game is Tavares’ second multi-goal and eighth multi-point performance of the season in 25 games played. His two goals tonight mark his 50th career multi-goal game. In 15 career games against the Canucks, Tavares has 19 points (9 goals, 10 assists).

Zach Hyman scored the fourth Toronto goal of the game into an empty net at 18:16 of the third period. Hyman has goals (4) in three consecutive games. He has scored five goals in 10 games on the road this season. All six of his goals have come against Western Conference opponents.

Justin Holl collected the secondary assist on Matthews’ second period goal and later registered the primary assist on Tavares’ third period goal. Tonight’s game establishes new single-game career-highs for Holl in assists and points with first career multi-assist and multi-point game. He has registered seven (1-6-7) of his 10 points this season on the road.

Cody Ceci recorded the primary assist on Tavares’ second period goal. Ceci has two assists over his last three games. His assist in tonight’s game is his first assist recorded on the road this season.

Mitch Marner had the secondary assist on Tavares’ second period goal and later had the secondary assist on Tavares’ third period goal. Marner has assists (4) in two consecutive games. Tonight’s game is his fifth multi-assist and sixth multi-point performance of the season in 21 games played. He has nine points (3-6-9) in eight games on the road this season. In eight games against Western Conference opposition, Marner has registered 10 points (1-9-10).

Frederik Andersen stopped 38 shots to earn his 15th win of the season.

SHOTS ON GOAL (5-on-5 in brackets)

 

1st

2nd

3rd

OT

TOTAL

TORONTO

8 (7)

10 (10)

8 (7)

26 (24)

VANCOUVER

11 (9)

12 (12)

16 (15)

39 (36)

 

 

 

 

 

 

SHOT ATTEMPTS (5-on-5 in brackets)

 

1st

2nd

3rd

OT

TOTAL

TORONTO

18 (14)

22 (22)

15 (10)

55 (46)

VANCOUVER

19 (16)

17 (17)

26 (24)

62 (57)

 

ON THE ROAD AGAIN

 

Record on the Road

8-9-0 (17 Games)

All-Time Record vs. Vancouver

60-62-22-3 (147 Games)

All-Time Record vs. Vancouver on the Road:

26-37-11-2 (76 Games)

Record vs. Western Conference

8-4-0 (12 Games)

Record vs. Pacific Division

5-1-0 (6 Games)

 

MAPLE LEAFS LEADERS

Shots

5 (Tavares)

Shot Attempts

10 (Tavares)

Faceoff Wins

12 (Tavares)

Faceoff Win Percentage

100% (Spezza – 1 won, 0 lost)

Hits

3 (Rielly)

Blocked Shots

3 (Matthews)

Takeaways

1 (Five players tied)

TOI

24:25 (Barrie)

Power Play TOI

2:45 (Barrie, Matthews, Nylander)

Shorthanded TOI

1:26 (Ceci, Hyman, Muzzin)

Shifts

27 (Rielly)

5-on-5 Shot Attempt Percentage

61.1% (Dermott – 11 for, 7 against)

 

 

RECORD WHEN…

Scoring first

8-2-1

Tied after 1

6-4-2

Lead after 2

11-0-2

Do not score a power play goal

6-9-2

Do not allow a power play goal

10-4-0

Outshot by opponent

7-9-3

Tuesday

3-3-1

 

OF NOTE…

The Maple Leafs went 2-for-2 on the penalty kill and 0-for-2 on the power play tonight.

Toronto won 62 percent (16 won, 10 lost) of their defensive zone faceoffs.

Kasperi Kapanen and Alex Kerfoot were the lone Toronto skaters to not start a 5-on-5 shift in the offensive zone.

Alex Kerfoot won 71 percent (5 won, 2 lost) of his defensive zone faceoffs.

Morgan Rielly was on the ice for a team-high 22 Toronto shot attempts-for at 5-on-5 tonight. Rielly finished the game with a 5-on-5 shot attempt percentage of 48.9 percent (22 for, 23 against).

John Tavares was 12-for-19 (63%) in the faceoff circle when matched up with Vancouver centre Bo Horvat.

UPCOMING GAMES:

Thursday, December 12, 9:00 p.m. at Calgary Flames (TSN4, TSN 1050)

Saturday, December 14, 7:00 p.m. at Edmonton Oilers (Sportsnet, FAN 590)

Tuesday, December 17, 7:00 p.m. vs. Buffalo Sabres (TSN4, TSN 1050)

Friday, December 20, 7:00 p.m. at New York Rangers (Sportsnet Ontario, FAN 590)

Saturday, December 21, 7:00 p.m. vs. Detroit Red Wings (Sportsnet, FAN 590)

POSTGAME QUOTES:

HEAD COACH SHELDON KEEFE

On what Andersen brings when he is as strong as he was in tonight’s game:

It just gives our team confidence. We know if we make a mistake he's going to be there. Obviously, we don't want to have to rely on him like we did on the breakaways. It's great that he was up to the challenge for us, of course, those are game-changing saves that you need. I thought, save for those breakaways, that we did a good job of protecting him. Anytime that they were threatening the net, I thought it was happening from the perimeter. We feel pretty strongly that when teams are going to threaten from the perimeter, Freddie is going to handle those quite easily. That's seemingly the case here of late, so that's really good for us, but then he made game-changing saves when we needed them.

On if the team is doing a better job of generating offence from the middle of the ice:

Yeah, I think so. This is a game we're going to have to watch back on video and really look a little closer at everything that happened. A lot of stuff happened pretty quickly out there. That's the fastest game that I've been a part of in the League in terms of the speed and the competitiveness overall in the game, start to finish. So, it's going to take us a little time to really process everything that happened, but I felt when we got there we were able to make good on the chances and that's a good sign.

On what led to the breakaways against:

Well, I thought the breakaways, the ones that I'm thinking, come off of turnovers and off of entries where we force the play a little bit to the middle of the ice and then it's a turnover and a quick transition. That's part of their strategy today is to just catch us in those transition situations and get us going or get themselves going quickly the other way. We fed into that a little bit and, obviously, don't like that. But we survive it and get through it and these are very teachable moments for our us so that's very positive. What I really liked about our team was just how we competed from start to finish through the game. There were mistakes, for sure, but the guys competed really hard today. And then, probably the biggest thing that I'll take away from it, is just how we composed ourselves late in the third period there enough in the offensive zone to settle the game down, make a play and then virtually end the game with that goal.

On balancing the desire to play Andersen to keep him in a groove with managing his workload:

Yeah, that's part of it, but the schedule has been favourable for us here in that regard. We'll look tomorrow just for our whole team – we're going to give our whole team a day away from the rink tomorrow and regroup after this effort here today knowing that we've got two tough games remaining on the trip and we're getting to that point now where the trip starts to be a bit of a grind on you. So, we're going to take a day away from the rink tomorrow and use it as a chance to regroup and we'll make our decision with what we're going to do for the goaltending.

FREDERIK ANDERSEN (38 SAVES)

On successfully facing numerous breakaways tonight:

Just tried to read off of what they were showing and react.

On if it was a night where he was just seeing the puck well:

Yeah, I think especially on a couple tips in the second. I’ve seen them do that a lot when the Sedins were here, so I don’t know if they’re trying to do that because of them still but definitely had seen that before up here. I was just trying to follow the puck and react, make sure I was in the best position as possible when they did shoot it from up top and remain square on those shots.

JUSTIN HOLL (2 ASSISTS)

On his assist that led to the game’s first goal:

It was a really nice play by [Dermott] to get it started, he was able to carry the puck in with possession and found [Kerfoot] in the corner who found me up top. I was just trying to get a shot through, and the skill players got the goal done. It was good.

On if they tire of seeing Andersen’s performances:

It’s not old, we love to see it, but at the same time we don’t want to give up five breakaways in the third period or whatever we did. That’s kind of embarrassing for us. It’s something we need to clean up but it’s obviously comforting to have him back there.

On what led to Vancouver’s breakaway opportunities:

I’d have to watch them again; I can’t really recall exactly what happened on them. It’s not great.

AUSTON MATTHEWS (1 GOAL)

On the atmosphere in Vancouver tonight and the play of Frederik Andersen:

It was great, atmosphere was great. Obviously, Freddie make some unbelievable saves. We gave up way too many breakaways but, like you said, scoring that first goal gave us a little bit of momentum especially at the end of the period, which gave us momentum heading into the rest of the game.

More on Frederik Andersen:

He’s been great for us. Ideally, we probably don’t want to see him make five breakaway saves in one game but that’s just a credit to him. He was just dialed in, huge saves tonight for us to keep that lead for us and then a couple big goals by Johnny [Tavares].

On Justin Holl’s play:

He’s been great. I think his role has been expanded and he has a little bit more freedom to utilize his skillset. He’s a guy that can obviously skate really well for his size, he’s got a good shot, he sees the ice really well. For how big he is, he can jump into the play and catch other teams on their heels. He’s been really good for us and obviously been a pretty big key on that back end.

MORGAN RIELLY (23:22 TOI)

On what stood out in tonight’s win:

I thought we really competed. I think if you look back at the game there was a lot of speed and I think there were little things that we did in terms of our work ethic that we can be proud of and we want to carry that over.

On if the team is getting more comfortable in their own end:

Yeah, I think so. I think that’s to be expected. When you get a new coach and try to implement a new system, it takes time. Whether that’s D-zone, O-zone, power play, or penalty kill. It takes time to get used to it and obviously the D-zone is a crucial part of the game and it’s starting to come a little bit but, like anything, you’ve just got to stick with it, keep working, pay attention during meetings and making sure the group is grasping it and I think we’re getting there.

JOHN TAVARES (2 GOALS, 1 ASSIST)

On what the team has done well with two wins in a row:

I think at times tonight, especially in the third, we’re trying obviously to be aggressive and be on our toes, but we’ve just got to be a little smarter making some plays to the middle. They’ve got some skilled, quick forwards that were able to get in behind us. Freddie [Andersen] made some big saves and then I think we’re getting more and more comfortable in our own zone just defending when teams seem to gain some momentum. I think we’re still getting a little comfortable once we do get the puck just getting to our outs and exiting. Once that gets a little bit cleaner, I think we’ll only continue to get better from here. Just doing a good job of digging in and defending well when we have to and we’re building confidence in our game and getting a better feel for the way we need to play.

On playing with Matthews after a penalty kill:

Well, I think every shift you try to make an impact but when you’re out there with a guy like [Matthews], you know how dynamic and how dangerous he is. We want to go out there and be productive for the team and make plays when they’re there and obviously, when you get it, you know he’s good at finding open ice and so good at getting his shot off, so just trying to be aware of where he is.

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