Lucas Viveiros | Report

The Toronto Maple Leafs assured they would not lose their third straight contest for the first time this season, as the club pounded the Canucks on Saturday evening by a final score of 5-0.

The game marked Michael Hutchinson’s second start for the Buds, as he aimed to register his first win as a member of the Maple Leafs.

Much like his first start, the Leafs would work to secure a two goal lead in the first period, and give Hutchinson some breathing room to sit on. However, ‘Hutch’ as they call him would look a lot more comfortable in this start and his teammates in front of him would give him a ton more support.

John Tavares would tip in the ice breaker off of a Morgan Rielly point shot 8:54 into the hockey game, putting the Leafs ahead 1-0. The goal was Tavares’ 27th of the season, placing him third in the NHL behind Jeff Skinner (28) and Alex Ovechkin (30).

Toronto would strike again quickly to secure that two goal cushion, as just under six minutes after Tavares’ tally, rookie forward Trevor Moore would streak down the right wing and burn past Canucks defensemen Derrick Pouliot. Once he was past the defender, Moore eluded Markstrom by beating him instantly through the wickets, giving Toronto a 2-0 lead and Moore’s first career NHL goal.

Toronto preserved that two goal lead throughout the remainder of the first, as well as the entire second, with major credit towards Hutchinson for keeping the Canucks at bay and not allowing them to score.

Hutchinson’s solid performance would continue into the final period, along with the Leafs line of Matthews, Nylander and Johnsson, which created all three third period goals.

First, Auston Matthews would score a trickiler of a wraparound for his 20th of the season at 4:45 of third, barely squeezing it through the legs of Markstrom after receiving a pass from Andreas Johnsson.

Next, Matthews would return the favour to Johnsson, setting up another squeaker on the side of the net that Markstrom would love to have back, giving the Leafs a commanding 4-0 lead.

Finally, after another dominant shift by the Matthews line, Igor Ozhiganov would get credit for his second of the season, after he attempted to centre a pass for Matthews and the puck deflected off of Erik Gudbranson and in, wrapping the contest up at 5-0. The shutout and victory were both Hutchinson’s firsts as a Leaf.

Revisit the game’s highlights below.

Up next, the Maple Leafs will play host to Pekka Rinne and the Nashville Predators on Monday evening.

Game time is set for 7:00pm from Scotiabank Arena, and can be viewed on Sportsnet.

More news from the ice

  • Toronto has won six straight home games over the Canucks, outscoring them 25-10
  • Michael Hutchinson’s shutout was the first he’s registered since October 28, 2016 as a member of the Winnipeg Jets
  • Auston Matthews became the first Maple Leafs player to score more than 20 goals in each of his first three seasons since Daniel Marois (1988-89 to 1990-91)
  • Trevor Moore is the 650th different player in Leafs history to score a goal
  • Patrick Marleau played in his 1,616th career tilt, passing Larry Murphy for sole possession of ninth on the all-time list
  • Mitch Marner skated in his 200th game

Out of town scoreboard

Saturday, January 5

Calgary 3 Philadelphia 2 (OT)

Minnesota 4 Ottawa 3

Buffalo 1 Boston 2

Nashville 4 Montreal 1

Columbus 4 Florida 3 (OT)

NY Islanders 4 St. Louis 3

Edmonton 0 Los Angeles 4

Tampa Bay 2 San Jose 5


More coverage to follow. Image from Canucks Army.

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