Mitch Marner prolonged his point streak to 16 games with a objective and an help, and the Toronto Maple Leafs beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-1 on Saturday evening.
Auston Matthews turned the seventh participant in group historical past with 200 profession even-strength targets, William Nylander scored his twelfth of the season and Pontus Holmberg his second for the Maple Leafs, who’ve factors in eight straight games and 14 of their final 16 general. Marner’s objective was his sixth of the season.
“[Marner’s] simply actually main the best way for us,” Maple Leafs coach Sheldon Keefe stated. “Clearly, he is discovered his sport. In all regards, he is been a difference-maker for us.”
The Maple Leafs are lacking 4 regulars on defence, together with high defenceman Morgan Rielly, however they held a 41-26 benefit in photographs. Erik Kallgren made 25 saves for his third win of the season.
“I feel we’re enjoying actually assured and really stable defensively,” Kallgren stated. “I do not know if [Pittsburgh] had any odd-man rushes and I noticed a variety of pucks from the highest.”
Rickard Rakell scored his ninth for the Penguins, whose five-game win streak ended. Casey DeSmith stopped 37 photographs.
“We acquired outplayed,” Penguins coach Mike Sullivan stated. “You have to give Toronto credit score. I assumed Toronto performed exhausting, they defended exhausting and made us work for our offence. I assumed we gave them some simple appears.”
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None simpler than the primary minute of the sport. Marner wanted 40 seconds to prolong his point streak after he caught Pittsburgh in a foul line change and beat DeSmith on a breakaway. Marner has factored in Toronto’s first objective in every of the group’s final six games. Toronto is 7-3-2 when it scores first.
“Your eyes get large anytime you are one-on-one with the goalie,” Marner stated. “I attempted to go in there, freeze him and take it to the far aspect and fortunately it labored.”
Toronto dominated play and outshot Pittsburgh 24-6 at one point, but nonetheless held a 1-0 lead. Pittsburgh appeared to tie the sport at 7:58 of the second when the puck squeezed by Kallgren’s gear. Rakell battled behind Kallgren to backhand a shot throughout the road, however the play was deemed useless when the referee overlooked the puck, and the objective was waived off.
“Obviously, the puck is free and the referees did not see it,” Sullivan stated. “You’d hope they see it and never blow the whistle, however that is their name. If they do not see it, they’ve to blow the whistle and that is the way it was.”
Making Maple Leafs historical past
Less than two minutes later, Holmberg gave the Maple Leafs a 2-0 lead with a wrist shot from the slot to the glove aspect. Nylander scored from the highest of the crease 55 seconds later, growing the lead to three targets.
Nylander scored his 149th profession objective, surpassing Hockey Hall of Famer Borje Salming for second-most by a Swedish participant in Maple Leafs’ historical past. Salming, who was dwelling with ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s illness, died Thursday at 71.
Marner has 5 targets and 22 factors throughout his 16-game run.
Maple Leafs shut a four-game journey Monday at Detroit.
Penguins proceed a five-game homestand Tuesday towards Carolina.