Kings defeat Maple Leafs for fifth win in row
Jonathan Quick made 33 saves, and Phillip Danault had two goals and an assist for the Los Angeles Kings in a 5-1 win against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Scotiabank Arena on Monday.
“I approach every game like a playoff game, so I know [the Maple Leafs] have a really good offense, they’re always strong on their stick, too, so I’m always ready to play against them,” Danault said.
Andreas Athanasiou had a goal and an assist for the Kings (6-5-1), who won their fifth straight game.
“This is a tough place to come and play; we’re playing against a very good hockey club,” Los Angeles coach Todd McLellan said. “Our start allowed us to weather the storm later, it got us the lead. We bent but did not break at the end of the second, and we tried to reestablish our game in the third. We got a big penalty kill in the third and found a way to shut them down after that.”
John Tavares scored, and Jack Campbell made 24 saves for the Maple Leafs (7-5-1), who had their winning streak end at five games.
“We just weren’t able to sustain our game,” Tavares said. “They do a really good job in the neutral zone and don’t give us a whole lot, even just to get good efficient dumps where we can recover pucks. Giving up the lead and having to play from behind, we couldn’t seem to make enough plays and be consistent enough putting pressure on them.”
Trevor Moore scored his first of the season to put Los Angeles ahead 1-0 at 10:52 of the first period. He skated past Timothy Liljegren down the right wall, cut inside on Rasmus Sandin and chipped a shot over Campbell’s glove from the top of the crease.
Athanasiou made it 2-0 at 14:21 when he got around Jake Muzzin and shot under Campbell’s right arm.
“Those were a couple of routine saves,” Campbell said. “I give them up and we are down 2-0. That can’t happen.”
Coach Sheldon Keefe said Campbell should not shoulder the blame alone, though, for Toronto falling behind.
“He’s part of spotting them the 2-0 lead early, but it’s two guys in alone coming in on him, that’s a tough ask for a goaltender,” Keefe said. “He’s bailed us out a lot, so we’ve come to expect him to have the ability to save those, and I’m sure he has the expectation to stop them, but he’s got five guys playing in front of him, they’ve got to help him out.”
Tavares cut it to 2-1 at 1:51 of the second period with a one-timer off a pass from Mitchell Marner on the power play.
Danault pushed the lead to 3-1 at 13:56 when a pass from Athanasiou hit his right skate and trickled over the goal line. The goal was reviewed for a distinct kicking motion, but it was determined that the puck entered the net in a legal fashion.
Athanasiou has three points (one goal, two assists) in two games after missing the first 10 because of an upper-body injury.
“A lot of speed, good poise, he makes good plays, and he stretches the defense a lot with his speed,” Danault said about Athanasiou. “His speed is opening everything for us in the offensive zone.”
Quick stopped William Nylander’s one-timer in the slot at 14:45 of the third period to preserve the 3-1 lead.
“Quick had a big impact as he does almost every night when he plays,” McLellan said. “You don’t win in this League without having good goaltending. Rarely do you leave the rink, I don’t think anybody can remember a night where you say, ‘Boy we got terrible goaltending yet won the game’. That doesn’t happen. The winning team often gets the best goaltending, and Quick was really good when he needed to be.”
Marner agreed Quick played a big part in the win for Los Angeles but said Toronto did not make it difficult enough on him.
“He did make some big saves, but I think in general we weren’t around the net enough, we weren’t causing havoc enough around that net,” Marner said. “We did do it well in certain periods of time, but we have to do it more often, especially against a team like that who just wants to keep everything in tight and let us do our thing on the outside.”
Danault made it 4-1 at 15:30 after intercepting a pass by Tavares at the top of the crease, and Adrian Kempe shot into an empty net 43 seconds later for the 5-1 final.
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Today is Indigenous Veteran's Day. As part of tonight's pregame ceremonies, the Leafs will be recognizing the contributions of Canada's Indigenous veterans.
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