The Toronto Maple Leafs got off to a really rough start this season, leading to coach Mike Babcock being fired on Nov. 20th, but Toronto has turned their season around under Sheldon Keefe. With a 6-3 victory over Winnipeg on Thursday, Toronto improved to 8-0-1 in its last nine games, 10-1-1 in its last 12, and 14-4-1 with Keefe as the bench boss.
One of Keefe’s biggest successes thus far has been turning around Tyson Barrie. Under Babcock, Barrie had left plenty to be desired with seven assists and a minus-11 rating in 23 games. Now Barrie is one of Toronto’s best defensemen with four goals, 15 points, and a plus-eight rating in 19 contests under Keefe. The goaltending situation has also been somewhat interesting. The Maple Leafs continue to lean heavily on Frederik Andersen, but backup Michael Hutchinson has won two of three starts under Keefe after failing to win a single game when Babcock was the bench boss.
It doesn’t hurt that Mitchell Marner has found another level too with 20 points in 13 games after starting the season with 18 points in 18 contests. William Nylander, who was a key player in Thursday’s win, had 17 points in 23 games with Babcock, but has stepped up a bit with 21 points in 19 contests with Keefe.
Toronto holds second place in the Atlantic Division now. They still have plenty of work to do in order to make the playoffs, but there is hope now where their only seemed to be gloom prior to Babcock’s dismissal.
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COLUMBUS 2 BOSTON 1 (OT)
Elvis Merzlikins saved 25 of 26 Bruins shots. The rookie didn’t earn his first NHL win until his 11th game on Dec. 31st, but now he’s won back-to-back contests.
Pierre-Luc Dubois scored the overtime winner. It was his 14th goal and 28th point in 41 contests.
Sonny Milano also found the back of the net for the Blue Jackets. He has four goals and 12 points in 31 games.
Boston’s lone goal was scored by David Pastrnak. With that, he’s reached the 30-goal and 60-point milestones in just his 42nd game of 2019-20.
Tuukka Rask kicked out 31 of 33 shots last night. He’s lost three of his last five starts, but none of those losses have been in regulation time.
BUFFALO 3 EDMONTON 2 (OT)
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins found the back of the net for the Oilers. He has nine goals and 25 points in 37 contests in 2019-20.
The Oilers jumped up to a 2-0 lead, but Curtis Lazar cut that lead in half in the first period and then Sam Reinhart tied the game at 3:53 of the third period. Reinhart has 13 goals and 32 points in 42 contests in 2019-20.
Jack Eichel netted the overtime winner. It was his 26th goal and 54th point in 41 games.
Linus Ullmark stopped 25 of 27 Oilers shots. He has a 12-11-3 record, 2.86 GAA, and .910 save percentage in 26 starts.
At the other end of the ice, Mike Smith turned aside 23 of 26 shots. He has a 7-9-3 record, 3.11 GAA, and .892 save percentage in 21 contests.
TAMPA BAY 2 MONTREAL 1
Montreal’s lone goal was scored by Jeff Petry. That gives him six markers and 25 points in 41 games.
Anthony Cirelli found the back of the net for the Lightning. He has 10 goals and 27 points in 38 contests.
Nikita Kucherov accounted for the game-winning goal. It was his 14th goal and 42nd point in 38 games.
Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 38 of 39 shots Thursday night. He’s won his last four starts, though he has been somewhat hit-and-miss over that span despite the winning streak.
Carey Price turned aside 21 of 23 Canadiens shots. He has a 16-14-3 record, 3.00 GAA, and .901 save percentage in 33 starts.
NEW JERSEY 2 NY ISLANDERS 1
Mackenzie Blackwood saved 29 of 30 Islanders shots. He’s won his last three games, allowing six goals over that span.
At the other end of the ice, Semyon Varlamov kicked out 29 of 31 shots. He has a 14-4-3 record, 2.41 GAA, and .921 save percentage in 25 contests.
Brock Nelson scored the Islanders’ only goal. He’s up to 15 goals and 31 points in 39 games.
P.K. Subban netted a goal for the Devils. That gives him four goals and nine points in 40 contests.
Nico Hischier scored the game-winning goal. It was his ninth marker and 24th point in 35 games.
SAN JOSE 3 PITTSBURGH 2 (OT)
Brent Burns scored the overtime winner and registered an assist. That gives him seven goals and 28 points in 42 contests.
Logan Couture also found the back of the net for San Jose. It was his 13th goal and 34th point in 42 games.
Aaron Dell stopped 36 of 38 shots Thursday night. He has a 5-6-2 record, 3.06 GAA, and .904 save percentage in 16 games.
Both of Pittsburgh’s goals were scored by Patric Hornqvist. He’s up to nine goals and 15 points in 23 contests.
Tristan Jarry stopped 29 of 32 Sharks shots. He has a 13-5-1 record, 1.94 GAA, and .936 save percentage in 19 contests.
FLORIDA 6 OTTAWA 3
Evgenii Dadonov led the charge with two goals and registered an assist for the Panthers. He has 16 goals and 32 points in 40 contests.
Jonathan Huberdeau had a goal and an assist for the Panthers. That gives him 17 goals and 55 points in 40 games.
Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 28 of 31 Senators shots. He won the game, but he’s now allowed three or more goals in five straight games.
At the other end of the ice, Craig Anderson saved 25 of 30 shots. He has a 6-9-1 record, 3.06 GAA, and .903 save percentage in 19 games.
Tyler Ennis scored a goal and registered an assist. He has 11 goals and 23 points in 41 contests in 2019-20.
TORONTO 6 WINNIPEG 3
Frederik Andersen saved 45 of 48 Jets shots. He faced a staggering 23 shots in the second period, which is where Winnipeg scored all three of his goals.
William Nylander scored two goals and registered an assist. The Leafs forward has found the back of the net in each of his last five games.
Kasperi Kapanen had a goal and an assist for Toronto. He’s up to 10 goals and 23 points in 42 contests.
On the Jets side, Kyle Connor scored a goal and an assist. That gives him 21 goals and 40 points in 41 games.
CALGARY 4 NY RANGERS 3
All three of the Rangers’ goals were assisted on by Adam Fox. He has five goals and 22 points in 40 games this season.
Sean Monahan scored the game-winning goal. It was his 14th marker and 34th point in 43 contests.
Johnny Gaudreau had a goal and an assist for the Flames. He’s up to 11 goals and 33 points in 43 games.
Cam Talbot turned aside 24 of 27 shots Thursday night. He’s 4-7-0 with a 2.75 GAA and .913 save percentage in 13 contests.
Henrik Lundqvist kicked out 25 of 29 Flames shots. He has a 9-9-3 record, 3.10 GAA, and .910 save percentage in 24 games.
ARIZONA 4 ANAHEIM 2
Antti Raanta saved 26 of 28 shots Thursday night. He has an 8-8-2 record, 2.76 GAA, and .918 save percentage in 19 games.
Brad Richardson scored the game-winning goal. It was his second marker and fifth point in 36 games.
Carl Soderberg also found the back of the net for Arizona. That gives him 12 goals and 25 points in 43 contests.
Jakob Silfverberg found the back of the net for the Ducks. He’s up to 15 goals and 28 points in 40 games.
John Gibson saved 30 of 34 Coyotes shots. He has a 12-16-3 record, 2.93 GAA, and .907 save percentage in 31 starts.
COLORADO 7 ST. LOUIS 3
Jordan Binnington allowed a career-worst seven goals on 41 shots. Even though the final score was scored at 14:19 of the third period, Binnington was still pulled from the game. Jake Allen stepped in and stopped the only shot he faced in 5:41 minutes of ice time.
Two of St. Louis’ three goals were scored by Robert Thomas. He has seven markers and 21 points in 37 games.
Nathan MacKinnon came up big for the Avalanche with a goal and three assists. He’s up to 25 goals and 62 points in 41 games.
Samuel Girard contributed four assists for Colorado. That gives him a goal and 20 points in 41 contests.
Philipp Grubauer saved 24 of 27 Blues shots. He has an 11-9-3 record, 2.91 GAA, and .910 save percentage in 24 starts.
VANCOUVER 7 CHICAGO 5
Patrick Kane scored a pair of goals for Chicago. He has 24 goals and 53 points in 42 games.
Robin Lehner surrendered six goals on 36 Canucks shots. That ended his three-game winning streak.
J.T. Miller scored a goal and registered three assists. The Canucks forward is up to 15 goals and 40 points in 41 games.
Bo Horvat scored twice and registered an assist for Vancouver. That gives him 12 goals and 33 points in 41 games.
Jacob Markstrom stopped 28 of 33 Blackhawks shots. He has a 14-11-3 record, 2.72 GAA, and .917 save percentage in 28 starts.
VEGAS 5 PHILADELPHIA 4
Sean Couturier scored two goals and registered an assist for the Flyers. He has 12 markers and 33 points in 41 games.
Carter Hart stopped 28 of 33 shots Thursday night. He’s 13-9-3 with a 2.51 GAA and .908 save percentage in 28 games.
Max Pacioretty scored two goals for the Golden Knights. He has 18 markers and 43 points in 44 games.
Cody Glass netted the game-winning goal. It was his fifth goal and 12th point in 36 contests.
Marc-Andre Fleury saved 34 of 38 shots last night. He has a 17-8-3 record, 2.76 GAA, and .912 save percentage in 29 contests.