Take down Stars at the ACC

The Hamilton Spectator - - SPORTS - JONAS SIEGEL

McElhinney fills in ad­mirably for Andersen be­tween the pipes.

Aus­ton Matthews and the strug­gling Toronto Maple Leafs picked up a much-needed vic­tory, edg­ing out the Dal­las Stars, 3-1, in Na­tional Hockey League ac­tion at the Air Canada Cen­tre on Tues­day night.

Matthews scored his team-lead­ing 25th goal of the year and Cur­tis McElhinney made 39 saves as the Leafs won for only the sec­ond time in the past six games (2-3-1). Toronto held the Stars to only a sin­gle goal af­ter yield­ing 22 over the pre­vi­ous four out­ings.

Jake Gar­diner and Nikita Zait­sev also scored for the Leafs (25-17-10), who sit third in the At­lantic Di­vi­sion with 60 points.

Antti Niemi made 31 saves and Tyler Seguin tal­lied Dal­las’s (21-23-10) lone goal in de­feat.

Both teams en­tered the night in midst of wob­bly spells. The Leafs had dropped four of their pre­vi­ous five games, in­clud­ing a 6-5 over­time de­feat to the New York Islanders in Brook­lyn on Mon­day night. The Stars, mean­while, had fallen in five of the pre­vi­ous seven with one vic­tory com­ing against Toronto one week ear­lier in Dal­las.

It was the home side that got the early jump off an of­fen­sive zone face­off nine min­utes in. Af­ter Tyler Bozak beat Adam Crack­nell on the draw, Mitch Marner scooped up the puck and fed Gar­diner at the point. The 26-year-old wired the one-time shot un­der the glove of Niemi, who’s strug­gled all year-long for Dal­las.

A Stan­ley Cup win­ner with the Chicago Black­hawks in 2010, Niemi ranks near the bot­tom of the league in save per­cent­age this sea­son.

Gar­diner, who had two points on the night, is up to seven goals on the year, equalling the mark he posted in 79 games last sea­son. Marner added an as­sist on the play, his 32nd of the year and 46th point, both marks lead­ing the Leafs.

The 19-year-old is rid­ing a five-game point streak, dur­ing which he’s racked up three goals and four as­sists.

Marner is among the NHL’s lead­ing scor­ers since Jan. 1 with 20 points in 17 games.

RICHARD LAUTENS, TORONTO STAR

In first-pe­riod ac­tion against the Dal­las Stars in Toronto on Tues­day night, Maple Leafs de­fence­man Jake Gar­diner, right, cel­e­brates his goal, as­sisted by rookie Mitchell Marner (16), who gives him a hug. The leafs won the con­test, 3-1.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.