EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) - Michael Hutchinson stopped 31 shots for his sixth career shutout, and the Toronto Maple Leafs beat the Edmonton Oilers 3-0 on Monday night.
Morgan Rielly and William Nylander each had a goal and an assist, and Zach Hyman also scored for Toronto. The Maple Leafs blanked Edmonton for the second straight game, following a 4-0 win Saturday.
Toronto coach Sheldon Keefe credited his entire roster for stepping up while playing without star center Auston Matthews and starting goalie Frederik Andersen, both out with injuries.
“That’s been really healthy for us to see,” Keefe said. “Obviously we want to get our people back here, obviously we’re a stronger group when we’re healthy. But it’s a very good sign that you can still get a win, especially here on the road against a very good team.”
Mikko Koskinen started in goal for the Oilers and allowed three goals on 10 shots before being replaced by Mike Smith to start the second period. Smith had 13 saves in relief.
“We’re in a little rut,” Edmonton coach Dave Tippett said. “Teams get in a little bit of a rut. It seems like nothing you’re shooting’s going in the net. You know, point shots, deflections, you can usually find one or two of those in a few games. But they’re not going in for us right now.”
The teams meet again Wednesday night in Edmonton to finish a three-game series.
When the Leafs had breakdowns, Hutchinson was there to bail them out.
“It just felt like one of those nights, the way he was moving in the net and the saves he was making, it at least gave me on the bench the confidence that they were going to have to do a lot to score one tonight,” Keefe said. “He was terrific. It was fun to watch him out there.”
Hutchinson was on the bench Saturday when Jack Campbell led the Leafs to the 4-0 win.
“It was a lot of fun watching (Campbell) get the shutout last game, coming off an injury like he did,” Hutchinson said. “And for myself, I thought the guys battled great in front of me all night tonight and made my job as easy as possible.”
Toronto’s first shot of the night didn’t come until 7:19 into the first period, but it was worth the wait as Rielly put a pass on Hyman’s tape and the forward sent a nifty backhanded shot past Koskinen to give the Leafs a 1-0 lead.
Three minutes later, Nylander got the puck off a faceoff and streaked deep into the Edmonton zone. He sailed a backhander over Koskinen’s glove and into the top-left corner of the net.
A power-play strike rounded out the first-period scoring after Edmonton’s Adam Larsson was called for hooking. Rielly fired a shot from near the blue line and, while Koskinen got a piece of it, he couldn’t control the puck and it dribbled through his legs and over the goal line, giving Toronto a 3-0 lead heading into the first intermission.
The Oilers had ample opportunities to claw out a goal in the third period, outshooting the Leafs 13-8 across the frame, but couldn’t beat Hutchinson. The 31-year-old goalie’s last shutout came on Jan. 4, 2020, when he led Toronto to a 3-0 victory over the New York Islanders.
“We couldn’t find a way to crack them for that first one and get rolling and get that confidence back,” he said. “But I mean, we’ve got to stay confident. We were rolling before this, it’s a bit of a blip on the radar. It happens.”
Hutchinson had to stop a speedy Connor McDavid in the third to keep his shutout in tact.
“You don’t have a lot of time to really think when (McDavid’s) coming down,” Hutchinson said. “You kind of just see that he has the opportunity to get a chance and from there, it’s all about just trying to react and hope that you’re able to make the save.”
Toronto was without Matthews for a second straight game as the team’s star center recovers from a wrist injury. Matthews - who has 31 points (18 goals, 13 assists) on the season - is travelling with the team and took part in an optional skate with his teammates on Monday.
The Leafs came into the game with the league’s top-ranked power play, having capitalized on 32.4 per cent of their chances with the maantage. Toronto was 1 for 4 on the power play Monday. Edmonton failed to capitalize on any of its four chances.
Earlier on Monday, the Oilers claimed goalie Alex Stalock off waivers from the Minnesota Wild.
Toronto D Jake Muzzin played in his 600th career game.
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