Toronto Maple Leafs prey on Nashvile 5-2

(Photo by Kevin Sousa/Icon Sportswire)

William Nylander put the Maple Leafs on the board at 4:13 of the first period and later had the secondary assist on Rasmus Sandin’s second period goal. His first period goal was his 23rd of the season, which establishes a new single-season career-high for goals (Previous: 22, 2016-17). Tonight’s game is his 11th multi-point performance of 2019-20. He has goals (4) in four consecutive games and points (4-3-7) in five consecutive games. In 25 games on the road, Nylander has registered 24 points (12 goals, 12 assists).

Zach Hyman scored the second Maple Leafs goal of the night at 7:12 of the first period before collecting the secondary assist on Jason Spezza’s second period goal. Tonight’s game is his sixth multi-point performance in 2019-20. He has scored five goals in eight games against Central Division opponents. He has recorded eight of his 13 goals on the road this season.

Rasmus Sandin registered the lone assist on Nylander’s first period goal and later scored the third Toronto goal of the game at 4:41 of the second period. Sandin’s second period goal was his first career NHL goal. Tonight’s game is his second multi-point game of the season. He has three points (1-2-3) in three games on the road this season.

Jason Spezza scored the fourth Maple Leafs goal of the night at 12:17 of the second period. He has registered 13 (5-8-13) of his 19 points on the road this season. In 32 career games against the Predators, Spezza has recorded 31 points (16 goals, 15 assists).

Auston Matthews scored Toronto’s fifth goal of the game into an empty net at 18:28 of the third period. Matthews has eight goals in nine games during the month of January. Over his last 20 games played he has registered 19 goals and eight assists for 27 points. He has 15 points (8 goals, 7 assists) in 11 games against Central Division opponents this season.

Mitch Marner registered the primary assist on Hyman’s first period goal. Marner has assists (2) in two consecutive games. Of Marner’s 35 assists in 2019-20, 23 have been primary assists, which leads the Maple Leafs and is tied for ninth among NHL skaters. He has recorded 19 points (4 goals, 15 assists) in 17 games against Western Conference opposition this season.

Tyson Barrie collected the secondary assist on Hyman’s first period goal. Barrie has assists (4) in three consecutive games. He has registered seven points (1-6-7) in 11 games against Central Division opponents this season. He leads Maple Leafs defencemen in points with 28 (4-24-28) in 50 games played.

Alex Kerfoot recorded the primary assist on Sandin’s second period goal. Kerfoot has points (1-1-2) in two consecutive games. He has picked up 12 (4 goals, 8 assists) of his 20 points on the road this season. In 11 games against Central Division opposition, he has recorded six points (2-4-6).

Justin Holl had the primary assist on Spezza’s second period goal. He has registered eight of his 13 assists on the road this season. His five primary assists are the third-most among Toronto defenders.

Frederik Andersen stopped 34 shots to earn his 23rd victory of the season.


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








10 (10)

12 (11)

9 (8)

31 (29)


15 (15)

8 (7)

13 (12)

36 (34)







SHOT ATTEMPTS (5-on-5 in brackets)








17 (17)

21 (17)

15 (14)

53 (48)


27 (27)

12 (10)

26 (22)

65 (59)




Record at Home

14-11-0 (25 Games)

All-Time Record vs. Nashville

12-12-1-1 (26 Games)

All-Time Record vs. Nashville on the Road

6-4-0-1 (11 Games)

Record vs. Western Conference

12-7-2 (21 Games)

Record vs. Central Division

6-4-1 (11 Games)




4 (Four players tied)

Shot Attempts

8 (Matthews)

Faceoff Wins

9 (Matthews)

Faceoff Win Percentage

69% (Matthews – 9 won, 4 lost)


4 (Muzzin)

Blocked Shots

2 (Holl, Kerfoot, Matthews)


2 (Kerfoot)


22:38 (Muzzin)

Power Play TOI

1:43 (Barrie, Marner, Matthews)

Shorthanded TOI

0:40 (Four players tied)


27 (Muzzin)

5-on-5 Shot Attempt Percentage

61.3% (Holl – 19 for, 12 against)




Scoring first


Lead after 1


Lead after 2


Do not score a power play goal


Do not allow a power play goal


Outshot by opponent






The Maple Leafs went 1-for-1 on the penalty kill and 0-for-2 on the power play tonight.

Kasperi Kapanen (arm) left tonight’s game and did not return.

Auston Matthews won 71 percent (5 won, 2 lost) of his offensive zone faceoffs tonight and was 7-for-8 (88%) in the faceoff circle when matched up with Nashville centre Nick Bonino.

Auston Matthews and William Nylander were on the ice for a team-high 20 Toronto shot attempts-for at 5-on-5 tonight. Matthews had a 5-on-5 shot attempt percentage of 51.3 percent (20 for, 19 against), while Nylander finished the game with a 5-on-5 shot attempt percentage of 54.1 percent (20 for, 17 against).

Jason Spezza was the lone Maple Leaf to not start a 5-on-5 shift in the offensive zone.


Wednesday, January 29, 7:30 p.m. at Dallas Stars (Sportsnet, FAN 590)

Saturday, February 1, 7:00 p.m. vs. Ottawa Senators (Sportsnet, TSN 1050)

Monday, February 3, 7:00 p.m. vs. Florida Panthers (TSN4, FAN 590)

Wednesday, February 5, 7:30 p.m. at New York Rangers (Sportsnet, FAN 590)

Friday, February 7, 7:00 p.m. vs. Anaheim Ducks (Sportsnet Ontario, TSN 1050)



On what he liked about the team’s performance tonight:

I liked it through different periods of the game. I thought we did a really nice job of doing the things that we wanted to do. You get the sense going in it wasn't going to look pretty all the time in a game like this, you're not really sure what you're going to get coming off that type of a break. But, all in all, I thought that we executed well enough, obviously to score enough goals to put us in a good spot. I liked parts of the game and other parts that we want to make sure we continue to grow on for sure.

On Sandin scoring his first goal and the poise he has shown since his recall:

I'm pumped for him to score the goal. It was a big goal for us at that point in the game as well. I'm not surprised by the poise. I've come to expect that from him. I think we all have. He showed that through training camp and through this first recall as well, I think. He's building really nicely there for us he and fits in well too just having another player who puts the puck into our forwards' hands well and keeps the offence moving.

On Muzzin’s play after his conditioning stint with the Marlies:

The guys were giving him a little crap for that after the game. It was a great recall; I think he got the ball after the game. So, it's good. I talked to Muzz about that situation. It was a good chance for him to kind of knock the rust off like you inevitably have to do. It just makes a little more sense to get it done there rather than here. So, today is another step in that process for him building up the confidence again and just continuing to get better and more comfortable in games.


On the club’s strong second period:

Yeah, we definitely quieted down the game a little bit. We got the lead obviously after the first and I thought we did a good job of not forcing too much, trying to slow things down and making sure we didn’t turn the puck over as much at crucial sports. I thought we played really smart.

On how he remained calm in the third period:

Good habits, I think, most importantly. I thought we did a good job.


On how tonight felt for him:

For me personally it felt pretty good. Glad I went down and played a game and got that feel back in me. Felt like my hands felt good out there and I was moving the puck well and stuff like that, so it was good for me.


On what he liked from the team:

A bunch of stuff. We created lots. There's still some areas where we can improve on as far as having an F3 and not diving in. I think we had a few too many turnovers, allowing them to gain access in our zone very easily. If we can manage the puck a little bit better, I think we have an even better result. I liked our O-zone play. I thought we created lots, capitalized on some chances. It was a good first game back.


On scoring his first career NHL goal:

I’m going to remember that for the rest of my life for sure.

On how the goal happened:

I was just standing a little bit behind the play and then the puck just popped out. I saw it at the last second and he was covering the low ice and leaning forward so I just tried to put it high and lucky it went it.

On his celebration:

I think I’ve had a lot of dreams about how I would have celebrated. I don’t think I did any of them today except for the screaming so that was a great feeling.


On his goal tonight:

There was some traffic there and Holl did a great job of getting to the middle that allowed me to kind of walk and come right down. When you’ve got time like that you can usually try to pick a spot, so it worked out well.

On the performance of the team overall:

Just a good response. Coming out a break can be difficult games and I thought it was a good match for our team. Coming out and getting a lead, I thought we controlled play for a lot of the time. I still think there are still things we can do better but for the most part we did a lot of good things and that’s why we got rewarded with a win.

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