Lucas Viveiros | Report
The Toronto Maple Leafs high-octane offense once again propelled them to victory on Tuesday night, with a second straight game racking up seven goals, as the Leafs soared through the Stars 7-4.
The buds received notable contributions from NHL points and goals leader Auston Matthews who scored a pair, John Tavares who added a couple of his own, Mitch Marner posting a goal and three assists, and Morgan Rielly racking up four assists.
Coming into the matchup Stars goalie Ben Bishop was off to a hot start, winning both of his previous contests and only surrendering one goal in the two games combined.
This game would be a different story however, as Dallas played right into Toronto’s game plan by trading offensive chances back and forth.
Mitch Marner opened the scoring with his second of the season on a beautiful snipe off the post and in.
Alex Radulov would level it up after the Leafs were caught on a bad change, sending a fluttering puck off of Leafs defensemen Nikita Zaitsev and in, which eluded Frederik Andersen.
Under two minutes later Auston Matthews added to his league lead with his sixth of the season, in his typical spot in the high slot, connecting on a one-time feed from newly promoted Kasperi Kapanen.
The line change from Ennis to Kapanen on the Leafs top unit has proved to pay dividends for Mike Babcock because opponents are forced to respect Kapanen’s great speed, which creates loads of space for Matthews.
The middle period would see the Maple Leafs connect three times consecutively, after Tyler Seguin evened the game at two with a few pretty dekes and sliding the puck five hole past Frederik Andersen.
Auston Matthews would regain the lead on the power-play, directing a pass toward John Tavares back door, and ricocheting off of Stars defensemen Esa Lindell and in.
Unlikely contributor Ron Hainsey would then join in on the scoring, beating Bishop clean through the wickets off of a shot from the high slot. On the play, Leafs froward Par Lindholm would register his first career NHL point with an assist.
Exactly a minute later, Tavares would give the Leafs some breathing room extending the lead to 5-2 on his power-play tally.
But just before the period would come to a close, Stars captain Jamie Benn would get on the board courtesy a power-play marker, cutting the lead to 5-3 and swinging the momentum in Dallas’ favour heading into the third period.
Only 2:39 into the third, Stars offensive d-man John Klingberg would rifle a shot past Andersen’s blocker and into the top corner to trim the lead to one.
But Tavares wasn’t done with his impact on this game, as he would foil Dallas’ attempt at a comeback with a beautiful wraparound goal for his sixth of the season, only trailing his teammate Matthews for the league lead in that department.
Connor Brown would add an empty netter, as the Leafs leave Dallas with another two points in the bag, and now 2-0-0 on their current road trip, and 3-1-0 overall.
Up next Toronto will travel to Detroit to take on the Red Wings Thursday night for their third game on this four game road trip.
Game time is set for 7:30 p.m. from Little Caesars Arena, and can be viewed on TSN.
More news from the ice
- Leafs centres Auston Matthews and John Tavares are the first pair of teammates with 6+ goals through the first four team games of a season since Wayne Gretzky and Luc Robitaille for the 1988-89 LA Kings
- Matthews is the first Leafs player to score seven goals within the team’s first four games of a season since Sweeney Schriner in 1944
- Toronto scored seven goals in back-to-back road games for the first time since November 7 and 10, 1979
- Leafs d-man Igor Ozhiganov drew back into the lineup for Martin Marincin
- Dallas centre Tyler Seguin scored one goal and three assists
Out of town scoreboard
San Jose 8 Philadelphia 2
Vancouver 3 Carolina 5
Colorado 2 Columbus 5
Calgary 3 Nashville 0
Los Angeles 1 Winnipeg 2
More coverage to follow. Image from the Toronto Star.