Pierre Engvall and John Tavares each had a goal, while Toronto scored four times consecutively in the second period. The Maple Leafs won 6-2 over the Los Angeles Kings Wednesday night.
Auston Matthews and Jason Spezza, along with Michael Bunting, scored for the Leafs in their reversal of their 5-1 loss against the Kings in Toronto on November 8. Toronto scored four goals within 12 1/2 minutes of the second and Bunting added a fifth in the third.
Sheldon Keefe, Toronto coach, said that he can’t recall the last time the team had blown the game wide open in terms of goals and having a second period. It’s been a long, perhaps all-season, really. … We have played some good hockey here on the road, but we haven’t scored the goals so we’ve had to really grind it out. It’s nice to leave with a lot of positives and a little cushion today.
Jack Campbell saved 30 against his old team for Toronto. The California road swing opened with a three-game California game. It was the seventh win in eight games after that 16-day thrashing by the Kings. Campbell won comfortably his first game at Staples Centre since being traded to Toronto by the Kings in February 2020.
Campbell said, “We’re just playing,” after he resurrected his NHL hockey career and spent nearly four years with the Kings. “We have fun. We work hard and are always striving to improve each day. It’s a wonderful group to be part of. We are hoping to be there, and we are just trying to get better.
Engvall, who already had two goals in 15 of his previous games, began the second-period flurry by scoring his first goal since the season’s opener. Engvall ended up scoring his first NHL multipoint goal in his 111-game NHL season.
In his NHL debut, Sean Durzi scored a goal and assisted for the Kings. The Kings acquired Durzi from the Maple Leafs almost three years ago. Durzi was the one who set up Viktor Arvidsson’s first goal, before scoring his own at 3:53. He put a strong shot just under the bar.
Jonathan Quick stopped 32 shots on behalf of the Kings. They have lost five consecutive games since a seven game winning streak, which was preceded in part by a six-game slide.
Los Angeles has lost four of seven home games. After being ranked as one of the NHL’s best defensive teams, the Kings have now allowed 18 goals in their five-game skid.
Coach Todd McLellan stated, “Let’s just hope it was a one off.” We won’t find out until the next game, but tonight was clearly not a good night. One team swam like they were on top, smooth and fast. Another team just floated through the slush. We were slow. We were slow to take decisions and execute poorly.
Quick was sixth in the NHL for goals-against-average and save percentage. However, Toronto made a significant dent in his stats.
Spezza’s second-period frenzy was capped by his power play goal, which was his first since Oct. 23. This ended a 14-game drought.
Spezza stated that winning is very enjoyable and creates a great atmosphere in the room. It makes practice fun and makes the off days more enjoyable. It seems that everyone feels good when they win. Our team is becoming closer as a whole and we are building a lot more chemistry through these wins. This creates the belief that we are winning close games and winning the right way.
Durzi, a Mississauga native, was drafted in the second round by the Leafs in 2018. He was then traded to Los Angeles in exchange for veteran defenseman Jake Muzzin. Durzi was a Leafs fan from childhood and had his family, brother, and girlfriend at Staples Center. His mom even interrupted a girls trip to the Dominican Republic for him to attend the big event.
Durzi described his first goal as “nice”. It was garbage time, but it was nice to get it out of my way. It was a lot of work, but it was great.
After Los Angeles’ Rasmus Kupari had shaved his head, Toronto forward David Kampf quit the game early in the first period. On Thursday, Kampf will be reevaluated.
Keefe stated that it looked like Keefe had made direct contact with his head. It was so painful to see. I don’t know how intent there was. It seemed pretty random to me.”
After Nick Ritchie’s shot, Arvidsson suffered a fractured collarbone.
Maple Leafs at the San Jose Sharks Friday
Kings: Ottawa Senators will host the Kings on Saturday.