Wings spoil Nylander’s party
TORONTO Maple Leafs head Mike Babcock expected William Nylander to be “the freshest guy in hockey” on Thursday night.
That was probably asking too much of a player making his season debut with exactly zero practice time since ending a prolonged contract impasse with Toronto just last weekend.
The rest of Babcock’s team, which eventually showed signs life after a lacklustre opening 40 minutes, didn’t really have an excuse.
Dylan Larkin scored at 2:48 of overtime as the Detroit Red Wings survived a blown threegoal lead in the third period to down the Leafs 5-4 and snap Toronto’s five-game winning streak.
“They were just better than us,” Babcock said. “They played harder.”
Nylander agreed to a sixyear, US$45million deal minutes before Saturday’s deadline for the restricted free agent to be eligible to play in the NHL this season.
Nylander started on a line with Auston Matthews and Patrick Marleau before sitting the game’s final 14:35.
After the Leafs stormed back with three goals in under nine minutes in the third to tie the game, Larkin moved in on a breakaway in the extra period off a pass over the top from Gustav Nyquist, who finished with a goal and two assists, and beat Garret Sparks on a deke.
FLAMES 2, WILD 0
CALGARY — Mike Smith posted a 31-save shutout for the Calgary Flames in a win over the visiting Minnesota Wild.
Elias Lindholm scored twice for his 14th goal and 15th goals of the season.
CAPITALS 4, COYOTES 2
GLENDALE, Ariz. — Andre Burakovsky scored late in the third period, Pheonix Copley stopped 27 shots and the Washington Capitals beat the Arizona Coyotes.
CANADIENS 5, SENATORS 2
OTTAWA — Paul Byron scored twice as the Montreal Canadiens defeated the Ottawa Senators.
Both Matt Duchene (lowerbody) and Bobby Ryan (upperbody) left the game with injuries for Ottawa and didn’t return.
LIGHTNING 3, BRUINS 2
TAMPA, Fla. — Mathieu Joseph and Anthony Cirelli scored early in the third period and the Tampa Bay Lightning won their fifth consecutive game by beating the Boston Bruins.
AVALANCHE 5, PANTHERS 2
SUNRISE, Fla. — Carl Soderberg scored twice, J.T. Compher broke a third-period tie and the Colorado Avalanche beat the Florida Panthers.
2 BLUE JACKETS 4, FLYERS 3
PHILADELPHIA — Seth Jones scored his second goal of the game 10 seconds into overtime to lift the Columbus Blue Jackets over the Philadelphia Flyers.
PENGUINS 6, ISLANDERS
PITTSBURGH — Kris Letang and Phil Kessel each scored twice, and the Pittsburgh Penguins beat the New York Islanders.
Toronto Maple Leafs William Nylander (29) oulls away from Detroit Red Wings defenceman Niklas Kronwall (55) during second period NHL action in Toronto.