EditorsNote: Corrects time on Kapanen’s goal
James van Riemsdyk’s goal in the seventh round of a shootout Wednesday night gave the Toronto Maple Leafs a 3-2 win over the visiting Nashville Predators at Air Canada Centre.
Goalie Frederik Andersen earned the victory with 44 saves through regulation and overtime plus six more in the shootout. He stopped three shots that could have given Nashville the win, then denied Viktor Arvidsson in the seventh round to wrap it up.
Pekka Rinne made 30 saves through regulation and overtime for the Predators, who were denied a chance to tie Winnipeg for first place in the Central Division. They sit at 72 points, one behind the idle Jets.
Nashville forced overtime with Arvidsson’s team-high 18th goal at 25 seconds of the third period. Arvidsson tried a centering pass from the left boards, but the puck appeared to hit a Maple Leafs defender on the skate. Arvidsson scooped up the carom and wired a wrister past Andersen.
Toronto initiated the scoring at 16:06 of the first period. Connor Brown found an open van Riemsdyk in the high slot. Van Riemsdyk ripped a one-timer that appeared to hit off defenseman Alexei Emelin before eluding Rinne for his 21st goal of the season.
Kaspari Kapanen upped the Maple Leafs’ lead to 2-0 at 9:38 of the second period with a short-handed goal after a terrific effort. Kapanen beat P.K. Subban to a loose puck at the Toronto blue line and then fought off Craig Smith before firing a wrister though Rinne’s pads for his fourth marker.
Colton Sissons got Nashville on the board at 18:10 of the second, scoring in his third consecutive game. Sissons gathered in the rebound of Pontus Aberg’s slapper in the slot and swatted the puck off Andersen’s chest. It trickled over the goal line for Sissons’ sixth goal.
The Predators carried play for most of the second and third period, finishing with a 46-32 advantage in shots on goal. They did so without left winger Filip Forsberg, serving the second game of his three-game suspension from the NHL for interference on the New York Rangers’ Jimmy Vesey on Saturday night.
--Field Level Media