The Toronto Maple Leafs haven’t been perfect this season – not by a long shot – but they’ve been stepping up when they need to. With William Nylander still unsigned and Auston Matthews missing his ninth straight game, Toronto earned a 2-1 overtime win against Anaheim on Friday to complete their sweep of a three-game California road trip.
Toronto improved to 14-6-0 on the season and 6-3-0 over its last nine games despite, as mentioned earlier, not having Nylander or Matthews. There are a few reasons for that. John Tavares has been everything the Maple Leafs’ could have hoped for, which has kept the offensive going despite the major absences, Morgan Rielly is having a career season, and Frederik Andersen has shone in goal. Backup Garret Sparks has been hit-or-miss in limited playing time, but he did lead the Maple Leafs to their latest victory.
The Maple Leafs really do look like a serious contender this season, which makes the ongoing saga with Nylander all the more interesting. If you’re sick of hearing about him, then you can at least take comfort in the fact that this will all be over soon. Nylander has to sign by Dec. 1 or he’s ineligible for the rest of the campaign, so if Toronto can’t agree to terms in the very near future then they will almost certainly trade him.
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DALLAS 1 BOSTON 0 (OT)
Ben Bishop saved 23 shots to earn his second shutout of 2018-19. He’s 7-5-1 with a 2.40 GAA and .920 save percentage in 13 starts.
Tuukka Rask was the losing goaltender, but this was one of his best starts of the campaign. He stopped 36 of 37 Stars shots, including 13 in the third period. He was challenged often in overtime too, with Dallas outshooting Boston 6-0 in the extra frame.
Brad Marchand got into plenty of trouble in the second period. First he got a double minor for roughing and then not long after he got out for that, he received a minor penalty and a misconduct for slashing. He tacked on another roughing minor in the third frame, giving him 18 penalty minutes in total.
Jason Dickinson scored the game’s only goal. He has four goals and seven points in 17 games.
Mattias Janmark assisted on the marker. He has a goal and three points in 19 contests.
BUFFALO 2 WINNIPEG 1 (SO)
Carter Hutton turned aside 25 of 26 Jets shots in regulation time. He surrendered two goals in seven shootout rounds, which was good enough to get the extra point.
Laurent Brossoit saved 31 of 32 shots before the skills competition. In the shootout he was beaten three out of seven times.
Conor Sheary netted the deciding goal in the shootout. He didn’t get a point during the game proper though.
Jeff Skinner scored a power-play goal for the Sabres. He’s up to 14 goals and 21 points in 19 games.
Kyle Connor scored Winnipeg’s non-shootout goal. He has nine goals and 16 points in 18 games.
LOS ANGELES 2 CHICAGO 1 (SO)
Calvin Petersen won his first career start. He stopped 34 of 35 shots before the shootout and was perfect in two shootout rounds.
Corey Crawford kicked out 31 of 32 shots in regulation time. He was beaten in both of the Kings’ shootout attempts.
Brandon Saad scored Chicago’s lone goal. It was his fifth goal and ninth point in 18 contests.
Tyler Toffoli netted an unassisted goal for Los Angeles. He has five goals and 10 points in 18 games.
Ilya Kovalchuk found the back of the net in the shootout. He doesn’t have a point in his last four contests though.
WASHINGTON 3 COLORADO 2 (OT)
Nicklas Backstrom scored the overtime winner and registered an assist. The Capitals forward has five goals and 22 points in 19 games.
Tom Wilson assisted on two of Washington’s three goals. That gives him a goal and three points in three games.
Carl Soderberg netted a goal for Colorado. He has seven goals and 13 points in 19 contests.
Philipp Grubauer kicked out 26 of 29 shots against his former team. He’s 3-1-2 with a 3.46 GAA and .893 save percentage in six starts this season.
Pheonix Copley stopped 24 of 26 Avalanche shots. He’s surrendered just two goals in each of his last four starts.
ST. LOUIS 4 VEGAS 1
William Carrier found the back of the net at 6:03 of the first period. At the time it gave Vegas a 1-0 lead, but obviously things went downhill for the Golden Knights after that.
Ryan O'Reilly scored a pair of goals, including the game-winner. He has 10 goals and 23 points in 17 games this season.
Vladimir Tarasenko assisted on two of St. Louis’ four goals. He’s up to six goals and 16 points in 17 contests.
Jake Allen stopped 32 of 33 Golden Knights shots. He has a 5-4-3 record, 3.51 GAA, and .890 save percentage in 13 starts. That’s pretty ugly, but he has allowed just one goal in each of his last two games.
Marc-Andre Fleury surrendered four goals on 35 shots. He’s 8-8-1 with a 2.60 GAA and .901 save percentage in 17 starts.
TORONTO 2 ANAHEIM 1 (OT)
Morgan Rielly scored the overtime winner, giving him nine goals and 25 points in 20 games. We’re still in November and he’s already tied his career-high in goals scored.
Patrick Marleau scored the Maple Leafs’ other marker. That gives him four goals and 12 points in 20 games.
Pontus Aberg found the back of the net for Anaheim. He has six goals and seven points in 15 games.
Garret Sparks stopped 38 of 39 Ducks shots. He’s 3-1-0 with a 3.21 GAA and .906 save percentage in four starts.
John Gibson saved 33 of 35 shots last night. He has a 6-7-4 record, 2.55 GAA, and .928 save percentage in 17 games.