Thu, 15 Apr 2021

Maple Leafs try to continue road-warrior trend in Edmonton

Field Level Media
01 Mar 2021, 13:19 GMT+10

The Edmonton Oilers have the most road victories in the NHL, with eight wins in 11 games.

But playing at home hasn't been as hospitable.

After the Oilers dropped to 6-6-0 at Rogers Place with a 4-0 loss to the visiting Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday night, they will play the middle game of their three-game series Monday night in Edmonton.

"You want to make your home building a building to come into and be tough to get points and play in. Playing .500 hockey isn't really sending that message," Oilers defenseman Tyson Barrie said. "Maybe that's something we focus on a little more now, having our best at home. The road success is probably usually a little harder to get and it's nice that we're having that. But maybe we (should) focus a little more on our home games."

The Oilers had a five-game winning streak snapped Saturday despite facing a Toronto team that was without Auston Matthews because of a wrist injury. Matthews, who leads the league with 18 goals, is considered day-to-day.

"When you lose a guy like that, you're essentially taking a goal away from your lineup," Toronto coach Sheldon Keefe said. "If you score one less, you've got to make sure you give up one less. Whether Auston was in or out, to beat an Edmonton team that's rolling the way that they are and playing as confidently as they are, we had to really play a sound team game shift to shift."

The Maple Leafs are 7-1-1 on the road this season and have won twice already in Edmonton, in addition to losing in a shootout.

Mitch Marner had a goal and an assist and William Nylander, Jason Spezza and Zach Hyman also scored for the Maple Leafs, who have the league's best record at 16-4-2. John Tavares added two assists as Toronto moved six points ahead of second-place Edmonton in the North Division.

Maple Leafs goaltender Jack Campbell returned after missing more than a month with a leg injury and made 30 saves for his third career shutout. No. 1 goalie Frederik Andersen is day-to-day with a lower-body injury.

"Everything really came up Leafs here (Saturday)," Keefe said. "Our power play gets one, and we don't take any penalties and we were able to do a good job and not give anything easy for their top guys. That was really good. And we scored a goal in each period, too, and we got three goals from three different lines. We got great goaltending, our power play was perfect and our penalty kill didn't have to work today, so it's a real good win for us."

Edmonton's Connor McDavid, who leads the league with 40 points (14 points, 26 assists), was held off the scoresheet for the second time in eight games as the Oilers were blanked for the first time this season.

"You need a full team effort against a player like (McDavid) and the type of offense that they have," Tavares said. "We were real disciplined (Saturday), which is really key, especially (because) it didn't let them get them feeling the puck a lot, feeling good and getting rewarded and kind of getting their game going when things were tight 5-on-5 like a lot of (the game) was."

Goalie Mike Smith stopped 25 shots for the Oilers but suffered his first loss of the season.

"There's an old saying, 'Not too high, not too low.' I think we got to look at that," Oilers forward Josh Archibald said. "We had a good stretch of games but at the same time, when you have a game like we did (Saturday), you got to have a short memory, forget about it and move on."

--Field Level Media

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