EDMONTON — The bottom six forwards stepped up to the plate to give the Toronto Maple Leafs a big road win on Saturday.
Alexander Kerfoot had a goal and an assist as the Leafs powered their way to a 4-1 victory over the Edmonton Oilers.
Ilya Mikheyev, Frederik Gauthier and Mitch Marner also scored for the Maple Leafs (16-14-4), who have now won three of their last four games.
Toronto head coach Sheldon Keefe credited the role players on his team for their efforts on the night.
“They were great, they skated, they worked, they made plays, they attacked the net,” he said. “There was a lot of really good things they were doing. They were feeling it today and it’s a good sign for our team.”
Leafs goalie Frederik Andersen made 36 saves to secure the win.
“We wanted to finish the road trip off the right way,” he said. “I thought we answered really well. The way we played in the third was really good and it was awesome to see, I didn’t think we gave them too much, except on the power play maybe. Overall it was a good game.”
Alex Chiasson replied for the Oilers (18-13-4), who have now lost four in a row.
“I liked our effort. Our compete was there. Our energy was there. We just couldn’t find a way to get any back,” said Oilers captain Connor McDavid. “Losing four in a row is not good enough. We’ve got to find a way to put some wins together here and it starts on the road.”
Toronto started the scoring five minutes into the opening period as Pierre Engvall made a nice feed through traffic from behind the net to Kerfoot, who blasted a shot up high past Oilers goalie Mikko Koskinen, who was playing without his stick.
Maple Leafs defenceman Tyson Barrie left the game later in the period after blocking a shot and did not return.
Toronto took a 2-0 lead five minutes into the second frame. After getting a pair of big rebounds in front of the Edmonton net, Mikheyev slammed home his fifth of the season into an empty cage.
The Oilers finally got on the board six minutes into the third period on the power play as Chiasson was sent in alone and was able to just sneak a backhand shot past Leafs goalie Andersen.
The Maple Leafs restored their lead with six minutes to play as Dmytro Timashov sprung Gauthier and he was able to wire a shot into the top corner.
Toronto put the game away with a empty net power play goal from Marner, his sixth of the season.
The Oilers begin a two-game trip in Dallas on Monday, while the Maple Leafs return home to face Buffalo on Tuesday.
Notes: It was the first of two games between the two teams this season, with the second taking place in Toronto on Jan. 6. The Leafs won both encounters last year… Toronto forward Gauthier returned to the lineup after being scratched the previous four games… Leafs forward Trevor Moore was expected to make a return but remained out, missing his 13th game with a shoulder injury. Also out for Toronto was Andreas Johnsson (leg). Out for Edmonton was defenceman Matt Benning (concussion).
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 14, 2019.