Leafs shoot to snap Canucks' five-game winning streak
Posted on: 11 Nov, 2023 at 09:06 AM
Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports
The surging Vancouver Canucks will attempt to earn their sixth consecutive victory Saturday night when they visit the Toronto Maple Leafs.
The Canucks opened a three-game road trip with a 5-2 win over the Ottawa Senators on Thursday.
Toronto needed a shootout to defeat the visiting Calgary Flames 5-4 on Friday night in the opening of Hall of Fame weekend.
The game had a familiar look as the Maple Leafs failed to hold a 4-1 lead. They have allowed four or more goals in each of their eight home games this season, and the win on Friday was only their second in the past seven games overall (2-3-2).
William Nylander continued a more positive Toronto streak with two goals and an assist. His 14-game point streak is a team record to open a season.
As for Vancouver, despite the winning streak, several of the Canucks admitted that they did not play at their best against the Senators, who were coming off a win in Toronto a night earlier.
Elias Pettersson, who tallied a goal and two assists for Vancouver in the victory, said he was encouraged by the way the Canucks found a way to prevail despite less-than-stellar play. They took a 3-2 lead into the third period and stayed with the structure that has been the key to their success so far.
"We just talked about wanting a good 20 minutes, and I think we did," Pettersson said of the final period. "We defended well in the last period and we're happy with the win."
The Canucks extended their point streak to nine games (8-0-1). They have reached 10 wins in 13 or fewer games for the first time in team history.
"They're not all Picassos, and this was not one by any means," said J.T Miller, who had a goal and an assist on Thursday. "But our goalies give us a chance to win every single night. It's one of the things we need to learn from.
"We know what our identity standard is as a team, we're trying to form that. Over the last 10 or 12 games, we've learned what that should be, and it's got to be better than (Thursday)."
Vancouver scored five goals on only 16 shots against the Senators.
Casey DeSmith stopped 28 shots for the Canucks.
The Maple Leafs have struggled on defense all season. Ilya Samsonov likely will make the start in goal on Saturday, which would be his first appearance since Joseph Woll relieved him in the first period on Monday in an overtime win over the Tampa Bay Lightning. Woll started the past two games.
Defenseman Jake McCabe returned to the Toronto lineup on Friday after being out for six games due to a groin injury.
Maple Leafs defenseman John Klingberg, who has not played well since signing as a free agent over the summer, was scratched on Friday. He has no goals and five assists in 13 games this season.
Toronto coach Sheldon Keefe said Friday morning that Klingberg has "been working through some injuries" and will be re-evaluated Saturday.
Despite the near collapse against the Flames, Keefe took a positive outlook after the win.
"I like that we didn't get rattled," Keefe said. "After they made it 4-4, it might have been the best we played all game.
"A lot of good things for us. It's the least amount of scoring chances we have given up all season at five-on-five."
After concluding their five-game homestand on Saturday, the Maple Leafs travel to Sweden for a pair of games -- against the Detroit Red Wings on Friday and the Minnesota Wild on Nov. 19.
--Field Level Media