(SportsNetwork.com) – The Toronto Maple Leafs will try to extend their longest
winning streak of the season to four games when they visit the Arizona Coyotes
for Tuesday’s encounter at Gila River Arena.
The Maple Leafs have taken three straight and four of their last five games.
Toronto also is 6-2-1 after beginning 2014-15 with consecutive regulation
Toronto posted its most recent victory Saturday against the visiting Chicago
Blackhawks. The Leafs won 3-2 in regulation despite getting outshot by a 47-27
James Reimer anchored the victory with 45 saves and Peter Holland scored the
go-ahead goal early in the third period. Nazem Kadri and James van Riemsdyk
also scored for the Maple Leafs, who have won three in a row for the first
time since March 5-10 of last season.
Reimer made 26 saves in the third period when Toronto was outshot 26-7. One of
Reimer’s biggest stops came in the final three minutes of regulation when he
slid across the crease to keep Patrick Kane’s shot out and preserve Toronto’s
lead in the final minutes.
“It keeps you in the game, that’s for sure,” Reimer said of his busy night.
Jonathan Bernier expects to get the start for Toronto tonight. He is 3-0 with
a sparkling 1.15 goals against average in four career games (three starts)
against the Coyotes. Mike Smith will likely start for the Coyotes and the
Kingston, Ontario native is 3-1-2 with a 2.41 GAA in six tests versus the
Arizona will try to record consecutive victories for only the second time this
season when it host the Leafs tonight. The Coyotes beat Los Angeles and
Edmonton from Oct. 11-15, but haven’t won two in a row since then.
Dave Tippett’s club halted an 0-3-0 skid its last time out, as the Coyotes
edged the Washington Capitals 6-5 to salvage the final test of a four-game
road trip. Tobias Rieder scored the game-winning goal in his NHL debut to help
the Coyotes hold off a late Washington surge.
Arizona scored the game’s first goal but was down 3-1 by the end of the first
period. The Coyotes scored the next five goals to go ahead 6-3, with Rieder
completing the stretch of unanswered goals with 4:27 left in the third period.
The Caps, however, tallied on the power play with 1:53 remaining and cut the
deficit to one goal on Troy Brouwer’s tally with 27 ticks left. In the end,
Arizona and goaltender Devan Dubnyk, who stopped 32-of-37 shots, were able to
escape with the win.
Shane Doan finished with two goals and an assist, Antoine Vermette supplied a
goal and two helpers and Sam Gagner and Mike Stone also scored for Arizona,
which earned its first road win of the season after starting 0-4-1.
According to Elias Sports Bureau, Rieder became the first German-born player
to score in his NHL debut since Marco Sturm did it for San Jose on Oct. 4,
“In his first NHL game, he drew two penalties (and) scored a goal,” Tippett
said. “(He) wasn’t intimidated by the situation one bit. That’s what we saw in
training camp. He is a good, young player who plays a smart game.”
The Coyotes are playing three of their next four games on home ice, where they
are 3-2-0 this season.
Toronto swept the two-game season series against the Coyotes last season after
dropping the previous six meetings. The clubs have split the last 16
encounters and Arizona has won four of six in the desert.