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Kings pass the crown to Nylander, Marner, Samsonov, and co

Marner hits 21 with an exclamation point.

Los Angeles Kings v Toronto Maple Leafs
TORONTO, CANADA - DECEMBER 8: Mitchell Marner #16 of the Toronto Maple Leafs extends his team point scoring streak to 21 games with a goal against the Los Angeles Kings during an NHL game at Scotiabank Arena on December 8, 2022 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images

Mitch Marner scored his 11th goal of the season to extend his point streak all the way up to 21 games. William Nylander scored a goal and an assist to lead the Leafs in goals. Auston Matthews scored his fifth goal in six games. Ilya Samsonov got his first shutout for the Leafs, making 29 saves in his return from injury. Pierre Engvall also scored a goal and an assist for the Leafs (but also got kicked out of the game for slashing Durzi in the head). Michael Bunting got two assists. David Kämpf scored and Conor Timmins got his first point with the Leafs.

All of that happened and more in a 5-0 Leafs victory over the LA Kings. It was a perfect, faultless performance all around. The Leafs are winning from all areas of the ice at once this year, and this game was a perfect example of it.

The game started with a dominant first without a goal, but then the floodgates opened in the second and didn’t stop in the third as the Leafs cruised to the win.

The only bad news came as Nick Robertson was thrown into the boards hard and was forced to leave the game with a shoulder injury.

First Period

The Matthews line was strong out of the gate with several plays that got the puck to the middle of the slot for chances. Bunting had the first chance after Matthews fed Nylander in front of the net. He got tied up but Bunting was there off to the side for a chance.

Matthews and Nylander showed off some of their vintage passing plays as they got themselves to the middle of the ice very easily for chances. Or at least they made it look easy.

Some more lovely offense from Matthews, as he sifted through Kopitar on this play. Nylander was in front but couldn’t reach the puck.

TJ Brodie on his return to the lineup got a good chance in the slot with the fourth line.

Ah, yikes. Bad bad bad. Nick Robertson gets thrown into the boards and is down for a while. He needed the trainer to help him off the ice. Definitely some sort of arm/shoulder (Leafs confirmed it is a shoulder) injury at the least. Robertson left the game and the Leafs announced he wouldn’t return. Matt Roy got two minutes for interference on the play.

Along with the Roy penalty, Kempe took a penalty as well. On the two power plays for the Leafs, Matthews had a good chance, but the biggest came from Nylander and Tavares. Both reached for a rebound in front while Quick was down and out, but the puck rolled off both their sticks.

With less than two minutes left in the period, Giordano got a high-sticking penalty.

After One

The Leafs were electric in the first period, with 5v5 shots at 21-8, including 14 scoring chances. The Leafs almost achieved a whole expected goal at 5v5, and probably would’ve scored the goal if a snake hadn’t bit Nylander. Ditto on the power play as the Leafs had five total scoring chances.

Second Period

ZAR and Lizotte fight. ZAR with an uppercut hit to the chest/neck/head on Kaliyev caused it. You know the whole debate. My opinion is close enough to the head that it’s dangerous, so it’s a hit to the head. After the hit, the play went on and the two fought it out, both got five for fighting, but Lizotte got an extra two for slashing Aston-Reese after the hit before the fight.

1-0

Engvall opens the scoring on the power play! Nice tuck and release from the wing, showing his AHL scoring touch. Conor Timmins got his first point as a Leaf as he kept the puck in at the blue line and gave Engvall the puck.

2-0

26 seconds later David Kämpf doubles the lead! Pontus Holmberg with a great play to win the puck in the neutral zone, but then Kämpf did the rest with a great move and shot. To say the Kings were giving up the middle of the slot earlier in this recap is an understatement. Brodie got the other assist in his return to the lineup.

3-0!

Nylander gets his goal!!! Willy always comes through, this time with a slick, smooth, stylist breakaway deke through the five-hole of Quick. Lovely stuff for his team-leading 15th goal of the season. This goal was the Leafs third in 66 seconds.

4-0!!

HE DOES IT! THE STREAK CONTINUES! Top tier shift and Mitch Marner hits 21 with a big slapper!!! The scale now shifts to longest point streak in NHL history, wherein Marner sits 11th on the all-time streak list, one away from 10th, and nine games away from Sundin’s 30-game point streak while with the Nordiques. Oh and I forgot to mention, this goal came at the end of an excellent electrifying shift with Tavares where Marner actually fed Tavares for a scoring chance from his butt.

After Two

Four goals says it all, but the Leafs also owned 78% of the expected goals in the second while shots were mostly tied. The Kings “came alive” offensively in the period, but couldn’t manage to get closer than the perimeter, so the xG was heavily tilted to the Leafs.

Third Period

Engvall totally busted for attacking Durzi with a reckless, careless slash to the head on the follow-through of a stick-jousting match. The period got very physical after the Zar-Lizotte fight. Engvall got a 5-minute major penalty, giving the Kings that full time on the power play.

For context, this happened before the penalty.

4-1 (offside)

Atta boy, Manny! The Kings are offside before their goal and Malhotra immediately makes the call to review it. The call is overturned and Samsonov’s shutout is intact (not technically jinxing unless I publish this before the game ends)

The Leafs end up killing the whole Engvall penalty, with a healthy chorus of boos on Durzi every time he touched the puck — from the fans and the Leafs on the bench. I’m not really sure what they’re booing him for, he got a stick to the head. Maybe embellishment? But again, I can’t imagine a stick to the head would tickle. Either way, I’m sure it was fun to take part in.

5-0

AUSTON JOINS THE PARTY! Nylander gets his second point as he finds Matthews coming down the slot and his one-timer finds the back of the net. Nylander’s centre is now behind the team-leader in scoring by just one. At one point in the season he was a long way back (I don’t remember the number, sorry).

Clean, clear, cool, shutout ballgame!