John Tavares broke a deadlock midway through the third period and the Toronto Maple Leafs held on for a home-ice 4-2 victory over the Edmonton Oilers on Friday night.
Goaltender Frederik Andersen made 30 saves for Toronto. Despite missing a pair of forwards in Auston Matthews (upper body) and Joe Thornton (rib fracture), who are key contributors to their power play, the Maple Leafs scored twice while enjoying the man-advantage, with the captain’s goal key.
With the score tied 2-2, Tavares headed to the front of the net and deflected Mitch Marner’s long shot for his fourth goal of the season at 11:46 of the final frame. All of his goals have been on the power play.
Marner iced the game with an empty-net goal in the final second.
The Oilers won the first half of their two-game set 3-1 on Wednesday and had a chance to win this one, too.
After a scoreless first period, Edmonton’s Leon Draisaitl opened the scoring with a short-handed goal. First, Kailer Yamamoto stole the puck near the end boards and then Draisaitl stripped it from William Nylander before tucking home the puck at 5:12 of the frame.
However, Adam Brooks scored his first NHL goal 43 seconds later to draw the hosts even. Brooks was in the slot when Jason Spezza sent a cross-ice pass that banked off his skate and into the cage.
Then it was Toronto’s turn to take a lead and lose it. Jimmy Vesey buried his second goal of the season at 11:16. Travis Dermott took a hard hit to keep the puck in the zone, and seconds later, Nylander sent a pass to a wide-open Vesey to easy convert into a wide-open net.
Connor McDavid, though, tied the clash 2-2 just 50 seconds into the third period when he deflected a high point shot from the slot.
Edmonton goalie Mikko Koskinen stopped 25 shots in the loss.
The Maple Leafs will head west for a pair of road games against both the Calgary Flames and Oilers. Edmonton visits Winnipeg for a couple of clashes before returning home.
--Field Level Media