Jones posts shutout against former team as Maple Leafs beat Kings to snap skid
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Martin Jones made 32 saves for his 30th career shutout, William Nylander scored two goals and the Toronto Maple Leafs snapped their three-game losing streak with a 3-0 victory over the Los Angeles Kings on Tuesday night.
Calle Järnkrok also scored and Tyler Bertuzzi had two assists for the Maple Leafs, who began their three-game California road trip with a strong defensive effort in front of Jones, their unlikely first-choice goalie.
Nylander got Toronto's opening goal in the second period and wrapped up the win with an empty-net goal, his 19th of the NHL season.
“I just saw the guys played incredibly hard, both on offence and defence,” Toronto coach Sheldon Keefe said. “Los Angeles demands that you work and you compete at a really high level.
"I felt right from the drop of the puck in the first period, our guys really showed that they were on a bit of a mission here tonight. That’s what we’re capable of. A terrific effort.”
Jones, who began his NHL career with the Kings, posted his second shutout since returning to the NHL last month. His 30 career shutouts tie him for 71st in league history with three goalies, including Los Angeles' Cam Talbot.
“Feels good,” Jones said. “I thought we played pretty well the last couple of games and just haven’t gotten the result, so it’s nice to get back in the win column, for sure.”
Talbot stopped 26 shots for the Kings, who have lost three straight for the first time this season. Los Angeles also has lost four of five at home after getting shut out for the first time this season.
“One team was fast, and one team was slow," Kings coach Todd McLellan said, particularly criticizing his team's passing. "Toronto caused a lot of our problems but L.A. contributed to them as well.”
After a scoreless first period, Nylander got the Leafs on the board early with a one-timer off a slick pass from Bertuzzi from behind the net.
Järnkrok scored three minutes later on a backhand after Bertuzzi found him in the slot with a wicked pass from the boards — even though Bertuzzi had lost one of his gloves moments earlier.
The Kings thought they had muscled one past Jones with 13:59 to play, but officials immediately ruled Quinton Byfield had pushed Jones’ left pad into the net along with the puck.
“I think as the game goes sometimes, we don’t score goals, some of the guys that are scoring a lot maybe get a little frustrated, which is human nature," Kings defenceman Mikey Anderson said.
"That’s the way it goes. As a group, we've got to make sure we’re pulling each other in, sticking together through a situation like this. Get through it and we’ll build and keep getting better as a group.”
Jones has taken over for Toronto in net after Joseph Woll went down with a sprained ankle early last month and struggling Ilya Samsonov was waived and demoted to the AHL this week. Jones' backup is Dennis Hildeby, a 22-year-old Swede who has yet to make his NHL debut after being drafted in the fourth round in 2022.
Jones joined the Kings as an undrafted free agent in 2008 and eventually played his way into the NHL, appearing on the roster of Los Angeles’ first Stanley Cup-winning team in 2012 and later earning a ring as Jonathan Quick’s backup for the second title run in 2014.
Now 33 years of age, Jones didn't make Toronto's roster in training camp, but he has appeared in eight of the Leafs’ last 10 games.
Arthur Kaliyev was a healthy scratch for the Kings. The Russian forward is in a 10-game goal drought.
Maple Leafs: Visit Anaheim on Wednesday.
Kings: Host Detroit on Thursday.
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