McDavid’s OT winner ends Maple Leafs’ winning streak

McDavid’s OT winner ends Maple Leafs’ winning streak

Author of the article:

Terry Koshan

Publishing date:

Jan 31, 2021  •  2 hours ago  •  3 minute read

Jan 30, 2021; Edmonton, Alberta, CAN; Edmonton Oilers forward Kailer Yamamoto (56) and Toronto Maple Leafs defensemen Zach Bogosian (22) chase a loose puck during the first period at Rogers Place. Mandatory Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports ORG XMIT: IMAGN-445033
Edmonton Oilers forward Kailer Yamamoto and Toronto Maple Leafs defensemen Zach Bogosian chase a loose puck during the first period at Rogers Place. Photo by Perry Nelson /USA TODAY Sports

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Connor McDavid wasn’t about to let the Maple Leafs depart Alberta on a note of perfection.

The Edmonton Oilers superstar and best player in the National Hockey League dazzled in the second period and scored his second goal of the game in overtime, driving the Oilers to a 4-3 win at Rogers Place on Saturday night.

The deciding goal at 42 seconds of the extra period on a pass from Leon Draisaitl denied the Leafs another point on the four-game trip, not that the plane ride home was going to be full of frustrated passengers.

McDavid ended the Leafs’ four-game winning streak, but took nothing more than a nibble out of Toronto’s buoyancy.
A trip of 3-0-1 in four games in Calgary and Edmonton, and a record of 7-2-1 to start the season? The Leafs will take it rather happily, thanks, as they should.

“It’s definitely pretty positive 10 games in, sitting where we’re at,” Auston Matthews said. “I don’t think we’ve scratched the surface of the best hockey that we can play collectively as a team.

“That’s encouraging moving forward, knowing that we can play a lot better, but that we’re still getting points, we’re still winning.”

A large Frederik Andersen save on Josh Archibald in the final seconds ensured the Leafs would get at least one point, and it was quite the in-game journey that resulted in the score being 3-3 at the end of regulation.

McDavid and Matthews traded goals in the second period that will make the plays-of-the-week highlight reels.

We’d say McDavid’s will be a finalist for the goal of the year, but he scores so many eye-popping goals he’s likely going to score a few more in a similar manner.

Plus, we’ve seen it before, when McDavid goes end to end, making the opposition look silly in the process before lifting the puck over the lame-duck goalie.

McDavid did that during an Edmonton power play, finishing his rink-length solo effort by blowing past Jake Muzzin and beating Andersen high with a forehand to put the Oilers up 3-1.

“He’s a special player and when he gets that time and space, he’s dangerous and honestly, that’s one that you kind of shrug off and you say he’s a great player,” said Leafs defenceman Justin Holl, who was on the ice for the goal.

That came at 6: 13. Less than two minutes later, it was Matthews’ turn.

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Matthews and Mitch Marner have been working magic together for a while, and so it went at 8: 08 when the two hooked up for a give-and-go, with Matthews finishing from a sharp angle and going high on Oilers goalie Mikko Koskinen.

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Matthews has scored in five consecutive games in which he has played, marking his best streak since he scored in each of the first six games of the 2018-19 season.

The Leafs didn’t stop there, tying the game on a power-play goal by Zach Hyman at 9: 16. Mikko Lehtonen assisted on the goal to register his first point in the NHL.

The Leafs managed to avoid taking a penalty in the first period — though the Oilers did get a penalty shot — but were behind 2-1 heading into the intermission.

Ex-Leaf Tyler Ennis missed the net on the free opportunity after Lehtonen closed his hand on the puck in the Toronto crease at 3: 38.

The Oilers opened the scoring at 11: 28 on a goal by Dominik Kahun.

Edmonton Oilers Dominik Kahun lifts the puck over Toronto Maple Leafs goalie Frederik Andersen during NHL action at Rogers Place in Edmonton, January 30, 2021.

William Nylander scored his fourth of the season at 17: 46 after John Tavares did the leg work, outmuscling James Neal to get the puck to his linemate.

Two minutes after Nylander’s goal, McDavid briefly rented Wayne Gretzky’s office behind the Leafs net and set up Archibald, who got a half-step on Holl and stuffed the puck past Andersen on the short side.

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The Leafs — whose 15 points have them tied with Washington for first overall — don’t play again until Thursday, when they kick off a three-game home stand against the Vancouver Canucks.

“I wouldn’t say we’ve had any surprises,” coach Sheldon Keefe said of the first 10 games. “The guys that we expect to be good have been good. We’ve got good performances from the players that have come in here that we’re just getting to know and are still getting comfortable with our system.

“We’ve met expectations in a lot of ways and there remains many areas for us to get better.”

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