March 18, 2018 / 2:12 AM / in 3 months

Leafs blank Canadiens for 4th straight win

William Nylander, Kasperi Kapanen, Nazem Kadri and Andreas Johnsson scored goals, and Curtis McElhinney turned away 33 shots as the Toronto Maple Leafs easily defeated the visiting Montreal Canadiens 4-0 on Saturday at the Air Canada Centre.

Toronto has won four consecutive games and remains five points behind the Boston Bruins for second place in the Atlantic Division.

The Canadiens have lost two in a row and are 1-5-2 in their past eight games.

The Maple Leafs jumped to the lead 16 minutes into the game when Nylander fired a wrist shot from the circle past Montreal goaltender Charlie Lindgren while working on the power play. Jake Gardiner was granted an assist on the score.

Kapanen doubled Toronto’s advantage at the 3:00 mark of the second period. He received a long pass off the boards from Travis Dermott and sped past Canadiens defender Noah Juulsen on a quick-change breakaway to beat Lindgren. McElhinney also got an assist on the play for his clearing pass.

Any chance Montreal had to stay in the game likely disappeared when Kadri added a power-play goal for the Maple Leafs with 29 seconds to play in the second period. Mitchell Marner and Morgan Rielly garnered assists on the back-breaker.

Johnnsen scored a fourth goal for the Maple Leafs, his first of the season, with 4:33 to play in the third period off assists by Zach Hyman and Connor Carrick.

McElhinney posted his third shutout of the season in 13 starts. It was the eighth shutout in his 183-game NHL career.

Montreal returns to the ice on Monday when the Florida Panthers visit. The Maple Leafs next travel south to play two of the NHL’s best teams, Tampa Bay on Tuesday and Nashville on Thursday.

—Field Level Media

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