Last night, the Toronto Maple Leafs scored a 5-2 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers. The offense was led by William Nylander, who scored a career-high 32nd goal for the season. As well, Jack Campbell had a solid game and made 37 saves.
It was Campbell’s 30th win of the season and pushed the Maple Leafs’ franchise’s best season record ever to 51-20-6 and the team’s best point total to 108 points. It moved the team up eight points on the Tampa Bay Lightning and 10 points on the Boston Bruins.
In this post, I’ll look at three takeaways from the game.
Takeaway One: Without Matthews, Sheldon Keefe Tinkered
Auston Matthews missed another game; and, once again, the team did just fine. In fact, without Matthews in the lineup, the Maple Leafs have played well. Their record on the season improved to 6-1-0 in seven games. Last night, without the team’s best player, the depth had to come thru; and, indeed it did.
William Nylander scored his career-high 32nd goal of the season. But, after that, it was mostly secondary scoring that carried the day. Timothy Liljegren, Jason Spezza, and David Kampf all scored on the Flyers’ goalie Martin Jones. And, Ilya Mikheyev scored an empty-netter late in the game. Nylander and Mikheyev each added an assist.
In fact, with Matthews away, coach Keefe got creative with his lineup. One experiment was to lift Colin Blackwell up to play in the top six with John Tavares and Ilya Mikheyev. It was a successful game for the Maple Leafs.
Takeaway Two: William Nylander Improves His Already Career-Best Season
William Nylander is having a career season. In last night’s game, he assisted on Timothy Liljegren’s goal early in the second period. Then scored the go-ahead goal on the power-play that gave Toronto a 2-1 lead With the two points, Nylander has now had two-point games in three of his last four.
It’s been a good season for the 25-year-old winger. He’s now scored 32 goals and added 44 assists (for 76 points) in 76 games played. That puts him at a point-a-game pace for the season.
Takeaway Three: Jack Campbell Seems to Be Back to His Early-Season Self
Jack Campbell has a solid game last night, stopping all but two of the 39 shots he faced in leading his team to the 5-2 win over the Flyers. Although Campbell’s been far from consistent over the last few games, he was on his game from start to finish last night.
Other than the two goals, he was busy kept he kept the puck out of the net. The Flyers outshot the Maple Leafs, which doesn’t happen often, by a measure of 39 to 28.
Campbell has now let in only two goals in each of his last two starts. He seems healed from his injuries. And, if he can stay healthy, he can help the Maple Leafs go far into the playoffs.
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