Maple Leafs shut out Islanders to extend point streak to 10
Hutchinson makes 33 saves for third straight win
Michael Hutchinson made 33 saves, and the Toronto Maple Leafs extended their point streak to 10 games with a 3-0 win against the New York Islanders at Scotiabank Arena on Saturday.
“I felt really relaxed out there,” said Hutchinson, who has won three straight starts. “I thought it was good to build off my wins against Detroit and New Jersey recently. It was a lot of fun out there tonight. The guys played extremely hard and we did a really good job defensively and made them have to generate chances.”
Auston Matthews had a goal and an assist, and Mitchell Marner had two assists for the Maple Leafs (24-14-5), who are 9-0-1 during their point streak.
“They forecheck and play defense extremely well,” Matthews said. “They don’t give up much so when you get those chances, you have to make the most of them and we were able to do that today. It’s good for us to play in these types of games down the stretch. We made the most of what we had, and we made sure we were defending well and taking care of the puck in the neutral zone.”
Semyon Varlamov made 20 saves for the Islanders (25-12-3), who are 2-4-1 in their past seven games.
“It’s frustrating, but we did have our opportunities and if we bury one or two of those, it’s a different game,” Islanders captain Anders Lee said. “All in all, it was a solid effort. We just have to find a way to put the puck in the net. If you look at our chances, a couple of posts, 2-on-1’s, I had one in front. It’s just not coming easy and that can get frustrating, but I think we did a good job sticking with our game. You’ve got to give Hutchinson credit, he made some phenomenal saves.”
Pierre Engvall gave Toronto a 1-0 lead at 13:25 of the second period when Kasperi Kapanen put the puck through Noah Dobson’s legs and passed to him for a shot from in front.
“I just tried to hold on to it for a second to get the goalie moving and I found a spot there,” Engvall said. “Obviously, [Kapanen] made a play there that was pretty good. Every time I see him go to the net with that speed, I’m just trying to catch up and be ready to shoot. When I saw him make that move, I thought, ‘Wow, that’s a sick play.'”
They said it
“I think it was a pretty well played hockey game by both teams. They were able to capitalize on their chances and we weren’t able to do that. We created some good chances ourselves, but their goalie played well. That’s the way it works sometimes.” — Islanders defenseman Ryan Pulock
“Just from the get-go I was feeling comfortable, right from the anthem I was feeling calm and relaxed. Their first shot was a pass out to the point with quite a bit of traffic in front of me, and I was able to find the shooting lane right away and make a pretty easy save on my feet. When you find those lanes early on, it helps calm you down getting adjusted to the speed of the game.” — Maple Leafs goalie Michael Hutchinson
Need to know
Toronto’s 10-game point streak is its longest since it went 8-0-2 from March 26-April 15, 2006. … Maple Leafs forward William Nylander had his goal and point streak end at five games. … Matthews became the ninth player in the past 35 seasons to score at least 21 goals through his first 20 home games in a season. … New York has scored two or fewer goals in four of its past six games.
Islanders: Host the Colorado Avalanche on Monday (7 p.m. ET; SN, MSG+, ALT, NHL.TV)
Maple Leafs: Host the Edmonton Oilers on Monday (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TVAS, TSN4, SNW, NHL.TV)