smack, again. I smell playoffs?
- Wins: 25
- losses: 26
- shootout wins: 3
- shootout losses: 3
- points: 54
Leafs beat Oilers for third straight win
Monday, 02.06.2012 / 9:53 PM
TORONTO — Make it three in a row for the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Phil Kessel had two goals and an assist as the Leafs extended their winning streak with a 6-3 victory against the Edmonton Oilers at the Air Canada Centre on Monday night.
Toronto has now earned at least a point in six straight contests. For Edmonton, it was its first regulation loss in six games (4-0-1).
The Oilers were without their head coach Tom Renney, who was hit with a puck earlier in the day and required several stitches. Assistant coach Ralph Kreuger ran Edmonton’s bench Monday night.
Tyler Bozak scored what turned out to be the game-winning goal early in the second period. In what seemed like a harmless play, Cam Barker had the puck in his own zone and was looking for an outlet pass, but Bozak was playing Barker close and was able to get enough to steal the puck and flip it over a surprised Devan Dubnyk at 4:15. It was Bozak’s 10th goal of the season.
The goal came two and a half minutes after Kessel gave Toronto a 3-2 lead 1:45 into the second on his 28th tally of the season. Kessel smartly circled behind the Oilers’ net to elude coverage by Ryan-Nugent Hopkins before being set up to the far side of Dubnyk by Matthew Lombardi, whose slight hesitation before making the pass allowed Kessel to get into position. With the goal, Kessel now has 300 total career points. He would later add an empty-net goal.
After Jeff Petry pulled the Oilers within one at 13:24 with his first goal since Nov. 22, Toronto regained a two-goal advantage. Initially thwarted by Dubnyk when trying to finish of a 2-on-1 down low with Mikhail Grabovski, Joffrey Lupul stayed in front of the net. When Dion Phaneuf unleashed a wobbling puck towards the goal, Lupul was able to glove it down and beat Dubnyk for his 21st goal of the season.
If James Reimer had any dreams of three straight games with a shutout, they came to an abrupt end, as Jordan Eberle scored for the Oilers just 21 seconds into the game. Sam Gagner recorded the second assist to continue his torrid pace, as he now has 13 points in his past four games.
Toronto tied the game exactly eight minutes later when MacArthur fired a quick shot to beat Dubnyk for his 17th goal of the season.
Grabovski continued his strong play of late, playing a part in the Leafs’ second goal, which gave them a temporary lead with just over six minutes remaining in the first. He took the puck at the goal line to the right of Reimer and skated down the right wing into Oilers’ zone. After eluding Barker, he circled behind Dubnyk before flipping a short pass to Jake Gardiner, who beat the Oilers’ goaltender to the far side. It was Gardiner’s second goal of the season.
But the Oilers tied it before the intermission, as Eberle finished off a give-and-go with Petry for his second goal of the night at 17:30.
Edmonton rookie Ryan Nugent-Hopkins was forced to leave the game in the third period after aggravating his recent shoulder injury. He will be re-evaluated Tuesday.