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THE BOYS ARE BACK: Leafs core delivers in win over Golden Knights

Three-point night time for Marner, two objectives for Matthews

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The Maple Leafs had a golden alternative on Tuesday night time.

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They didn’t blow it.

In actual fact, the Leafs blew the injury-riddled Vegas Golden Knights proper out of Scotiabank Area.

And it was the at-times maligned core of gifted 20-somethings that propelled the Leafs to their third win in a row.

Mitch Marner loved his first three-point night time since April 22, Auston Matthews moved up the franchise objectives listing with a pair and William Nylander added a aim within the third, propelling the Leafs to a 4-0 victory.

“Actually full, from begin to end,” Matthews mentioned of the Leafs’ staff effort. “That’s a great show of hockey we want to play and be as constant as we have been.”

Jack Campbell made 26 saves for his first shutout of 2021-22 and fifth of his profession because the Leafs improved to 5-4-1.

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Not that any video games within the Nationwide Hockey League are straightforward, however after the laugher on Tuesday, the Leafs are going to get stiffer competitors on Thursday when the two-time defending Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning go to.

Groups that aspire to be nice should beat up on foes which can be weakened, and although the Leafs have some methods to go earlier than we’d name them nice, they by no means gave the hurting Golden Knights an opportunity to get organized.

Maple Leafs’ Morgan Rielly (left) congratulates teammate Auston Matthews on his first goal against the Vegas Golden Knights. JOHN E. SOKOLOWSKI/USA TODAY SPORTS
Maple Leafs’ Morgan Rielly (left) congratulates teammate Auston Matthews on his first aim towards the Vegas Golden Knights. JOHN E. SOKOLOWSKI/USA TODAY SPORTS

The Leafs have been smothering from the opening shift, taking full benefit of a Vegas staff that was lacking forwards Mark Stone, Max Pacioretty, Alex Tuch, Nolan Patrick, Mattias Janmark and William Karlsson and defenceman Zach Whitecloud.

“Proper from the beginning, we took management of the sport,” Leafs coach Sheldon Keefe mentioned. “It’s actually extra indicative of what we expect we’re able to. We did what we wanted to do.”

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It was additional encouraging for Keefe that Marner, Matthews and Nylander shone. Keefe spoke within the morning of the need to see extra consistency out of his staff as an entire. One would think about he had his three greatest gamers in thoughts as nicely, and we’re beginning to witness that from the gifted trio.

Toronto hadn’t scored by the point Vegas received its first shot on Campbell at 10:30 of the primary, however you knew it was coming.

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Certain sufficient, Marner introduced the group of 18,689 out of its seats a minute later.

We’re undecided the winger, along with his second aim in as many video games, will rating a prettier one this season.

Examine that, he in all probability will, however there isn’t any denying the ability that resulted in a 1-0 Leafs lead.

John Tavares did the spade work behind the online and received the puck to Marner, who spun to his backhand to completely idiot Jake Leschyshyn and goalie Robin Lehner to attain.

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“He appears to be like like himself,” Keefe mentioned of Marner’s play previously few video games. “That’s the Mitch we all know and love. He taking part in with confidence. He appears to be like like he’s free on the market. And when he’s free, and the sport is flowing for him, he makes nice issues occur on each side of the puck.”

Three minutes into the second, Matthews produced the primary power-play aim by the total No. 1 unit this season, taking a cross-ice move from Nylander and snapping a shot on the quick facet previous Lehner.

Within the ultimate minute of the second, Matthews lifted his personal rebound previous Lehner.

Matthews has 202 profession objectives, shifting him previous Syl Apps into twelfth on the Leafs’ franchise listing. In eleventh is Lanny McDonald, who had 219 objectives with Toronto.

Nylander burst down the ice early within the third and beat Lehner on the far facet.

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Leafs defenceman Travis Dermott missed many of the second interval after blocking a shot within the first interval. He had an X-ray, and when it got here destructive, Dermott was again out towards the top of the second.

Leafs basic supervisor Kyle Dubas, who received Morgan Rielly’s contract extension out of the best way final week, reportedly has began negotiations with Campbell on an extension.

The goalie is within the ultimate 12 months of a contract that has a median annual worth of $1.65-million US.

“I actually find it irresistible right here,” Campbell mentioned. “The blokes have taken me in like I’ve been right here my complete profession and it’s a particular group a particular metropolis. The followers are unbelievable. Anytime they embrace me in the best way they’ve it means loads to me, and there’s nothing extra I’d love than to remain right here.”

tkoshan@postmedia.com

twitter.com/koshtorontosun

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