02/14 23:57 CST Matthews scores twice, Maple Leafs beat Vegas 6-3
Matthews scores twice, Maple Leafs beat Vegas 6-3
By W.G. RAMIREZ
LAS VEGAS (AP) --- Auston Matthews scored two goals, including the 100th of his
career, to lead the Toronto Maple Leafs to a 6-3 victory over the Vegas Golden
Knights on Thursday night.
The Maple Leafs, who improved to 36-18-3 this season and 19-7-2 on the road,
are 15-7-0 against the Western Conference and 9-2-0 against Pacific Division
opponents this season.
Morgan Rielly scored his fifth game-winner when his shot made its way through
traffic to beat Marc-Andre Fleury and put Toronto ahead 4-3 at the midway point
of the third period.
Vegas, meanwhile, has lost three in a row and a franchise-record five straight
at T-Mobile Arena, including the first three of a four-game homestand.
Andreas Johnsson, Patrick Marleau and Mitch Marner also scored for Toronto,
while Frederik Andersen made 30 saves.
Paul Stastny, Oscar Lindberg and William Karlsson scored for Vegas. Fleury made
36 saves but allowed a season-high six goals.
Fleury, who came into the game ranked ninth with a 2.54 goals-against average
among goaltenders who have played in at least 25 games, has allowed 17 goals in
his last four starts. The last time Fleury held an opponent to one or fewer
goals was Jan. 1.
The Maple Leafs took a 1-0 lead in the first period when Johnsson redirected
Jake Gardiner's slap pass to beat Fleury for a power-play goal.
Vegas, which came into the game ranked sixth in the league with its penalty
kill and tied for the league's best home penalty kill, has now allowed at least
one power-play goal in five straight games.
The Golden Knights tied the game early in the second period when Anderson
decided not to hold on to the puck after making a save, and as he released it
behind the net, Reilly Smith snuck in to steal it, dished to Stastny, who fired
home a short-handed goal. Stastny has at least one point in 15 of his last 20
games, with five goals and 15 assists.
Vegas made it 2-1 when Cody Eakin flew into the offensive zone and put a nifty
spin move on Toronto defenseman Travis Dermott, and fed Lindberg, who one-timed
it past Anderson.
The lead wouldn't last long, though, as Matthews' shot from the circle trickled
past Fleury and across the goal line. At the same time Marleau reached in to
tap the puck in, Fleury inadvertently kicked the puck into net, tying the game
Matthews scored his team-high 10th power-play goal when he fired a shot through
Fleury's legs to put the Maple Leafs back in front, 3-2.
After staving off their sixth penalty of the game, the Golden Knights made it
3-all early in the third, when Karlsson redirected Jon Merrill's top from the
Matthews and Marner added goals late in the third to put away the game.
NOTES: Vegas defenseman Deryk Engelland played in his 600th career game. ...
The Golden Knights have allowed only 11 goals in 80 times short-handed during
the 28 games played at T-Mobile Arena this season. ... Johnsson left the game
in the second period, and did not return, after being kneed in the left leg by
Vegas defenseman Brayden McNabb. ... Marner has at least one point in 11 of the
last 15 games.
Toronto: Visits Arizona on Saturday.
Vegas: Hosts Nashville on Saturday.
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