FIVE THINGS WE LEARNED

Terry Koshan’s take­aways from last night’s game vs. Van­cou­ver

Sunday Sports - - CANUCKS AT LEAFS -

1 Mathews on track

For the fifth time this sea­son, Aus­ton Matthews recorded at least three points in a game with one goal and two as­sists. A player of Matthews’ cal­i­bre doesn’t slump of­ten, but he ended a five-game goal drought when he scored on a wrap­around in the sec­ond pe­riod.

2 Strong, still

A few Leafs who didn’t wind up on the score­sheet were ef­fec­tive none­the­less. Kasperi Ka­pa­nen had five shots on goal, while Wil­liam Ny­lan­der had six shot at­tempts and Nazem Kadri five. Each line for the Leafs had cre­ated chances in the of­fen­sive zone.

3 Reilly all over

Mor­gan Rielly, who should have been named to the all-star game, had an as­sist on the open­ing goal, giv­ing him 32 as­sists and 45 points on the sea­son. Rielly was a force for much of the night, ty­ing a ca­reer high with six shots on goal. In to­tal, he had eight shot at­tempts.

4 Face up to it

One fac­tor that helped the Leafs was their dili­gence in the face­off cir­cle, high­lighted by Kadri and John Tavares. The lat­ter won 12 of his 16 draws, or 75%. Kadri was nearly as good, win­ning 11 of 17 for a 65% win­ning clip. Van­cou­ver’s Markus Gran­lund won just one of eight, and Bo Hor­vat 10 of 26.

5 Tale of two de­fences

A cou­ple of Leafs de­fence­men — Rielly and Jake Gar­diner — helped lead the way and both were plus-3, as was each mem­ber of the Matthews line. At the other end? Some ug­li­ness for Canucks de­fence­man Erik Gud­bran­son, who was on the ice for all five Toronto goals and fin­ished mi­nus-5.

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