The Toronto Maple Leafs look to win consecutive games away from home for the first time since the end of November when they continue their five-game road trip Thursday against the Arizona Coyotes. Toronto had lost four straight in opposing rinks before posting a 3-2 victory over the Rangers in New York on Saturday.
Auston Matthews scored the winning goal and added an assist after missing six games with a concussion as the Maple Leafs improved to 1-1-0 on their trek. The 20-year-old Matthews leads Toronto with 28 points and is three shy of 100 in his brief career. The Coyotes are coming off their second win in three games, a 3-1 triumph at Colorado on Wednesday that earned them a split of the home-and-home set. Arizona is looking to complete a sweep of the season series after posting a 4-1 victory at Toronto on Nov. 20 to extend its winning streak to a season-high three games and halt a six-game run by the Maple Leafs.
TV: 9 p.m. ET, Sportsnet Ontario (Toronto), FSN Arizona
ABOUT THE MAPLE LEAFS (22-14-1): William Nylander also registered a goal and an assist against New York, giving him two of each during his three-game point streak. The 21-year-old forward’s next point will be his 100th in the NHL. Mitch Marner also is riding a three-game point streak during which he has recorded two goals and four assists.
ABOUT THE COYOTES (9-25-5): Clayton Keller enters Thursday with a six-game point streak after notching an assist against the Avalanche. The 19-year-old rookie, who leads Arizona with 30 points, has collected two goals and five assists - one in each of his last five contests - during his run. Lawson Crouse, who was recalled from Tucson of the American Hockey League a day earlier, scored his first goal of the season on Wednesday after going seven games without a point during a stint with the Coyotes in October.
1. Maple Leafs LW James van Riemsdyk leads the team with 16 goals but has recorded just one in his last five contests.
2. Arizona C Zac Rinaldo will serve the second contest of the six-game suspension he received for punching Colorado’s Samuel Girard on Saturday.
3. Marner scored only two goals over his first 34 games this season.
PREDICTION: Maple Leafs 6, Coyotes 2