Toronto Maple Leafs shutout Ottawa Senators
By Neil Becker
Not even a long layoff could stop what is a very dangerous Toronto Maple Leafs team.
The Leafs, who have been off since December 14th, exploded on Saturday night for six goals in an empty Scotiabank Arena during a 6-0 rout against the Ottawa Senators.
Playing a starring role was Leafs forward Ilya Mikheyev who in only his second game of the year had seven shots on goal and scored two goals along with posting an impressive +3 on the evening.
Mikheyev, who was out with a thumb injury, had 16:26 of ice time, and going forward will definitely make the Leafs offense that much more explosive.
Toronto, who had five practices in the last six games, showed absolutely no rust as they out-shot the Senators by an 11-4 first-period count while getting short-handed goals 27 seconds apart from defenceman Justin Holl with his first followed at 14:33 by Mikheyev’s first.
Looking to keep pace with Atlantic Division rivals Tampa Bay Lightning and Florida Panthers, the Leafs also got a clutch performance from defenceman T.J. Brodie who in the second period scored his second on a wraparound for a commanding 3-0 lead.
Having a huge third period was Leafs forward William Nylander. Nylander, who late last month became the seventh Leaf to go on the COVID-19 protocol list, scored his 14th goal and fourth in this game on a third-period breakaway.
Toronto, who fired 40 shots on goal, would get two more goals starting with Mikheyev 51 seconds late with his second on a power-play followed by Nylander who with less than three minutes remaining also scored his second to round out the offense in a 6-0 win over the Sens.
Once again starring for the Leafs was goaltender Jack Campbell who continued his strong season with a 20 save performance as he improved to 16-5 with a 1.86 GAA and four shutouts.
Looking to build on what is now a three-game winning streak, the Leafs will next see action on Wednesday, January 5th when Connor McDavid leads the Edmonton Oilers into Scotiabank Arena with puck drop scheduled for a 7 p.m. start.
14:06 SHG- Justin Holl (1) OTT-TOR
David Kampf (6), T.J. Brodie (7) 0- 1
14:33 SHG- Ilya Mikheyev (1)
Alexander Kerfoot (13), T.J. Brodie (8) 0-2
7:18 T.J. Brodie (2)
Morgan Rielly (23), Alex Kerfoot (14)
13:41 William Nylander (14) 0-4
Travis Dermott (2), Alex Kerfoot (15)
14:42 PPG- Ilya Mikheyev (2) 0-5
Ondrej Kase (8), Jason Spezza (5)
17:14 William Nylander (15) 0- 6
John Tavares (20), Rasmus Sandin (9)