Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner, and Michael Bunting combined for seven points and the Toronto Maple Leafs sent the Seattle Kraken to a 6-2 defeat before a sellout crowd on Monday night at Climate Pledge Arena.
The Maple Leafs, owning the top power play in the NHL, performed as advertised by going 2-of-2 while adding a shorthanded goal by David Kampf in the third period, and have scored 10 power play goals in the last nine games.
Jack Campbell stopped 23 shots while Philipp Grubauer, pulled after the first period with eight saves on 11 shots, took the loss. The move, head coach Dave Hakstol said, had nothing to do with effectiveness between the pipes.
“Mostly trying to change momentum and push the other way,” said Hakstol.
Chris Driedger, replacing Grubauer in the second period, made 11 saves on 14 shots for the remainder of the 40 minutes. Calle Jarnkrok extended a run to points in three straight games with a first period one-timer on Campbell, tying the game with 10:55 left in the first period and just 2:09 after Alex Kerfoot gave the Leafs a 1-0 lead.
Toronto, who avoided their first three game losing streak since October, responded with back-to-back goals by Bunting and Ondrej Kase to close out the first period up 3-1. Marner’s rebound goal in the second period put the Kraken down 4-1, and Kampf, feeding off a drop pass by Marner on a shorthanded rush, extended the Toronto lead at 3:37 of the third period.
“We looked tight on the power play. “On the shorthanded goal, we were trying to make the right play. Marner read it, he’s good in those areas, and turned it into a shorthanded chance against.”
Jared McCann’s bid from the right circle ended a power play drought for the Kraken, empty handed for four straight games, with 13:08 left in regulation with video replay needing confirmation of the goal with the puck trickling across the goal line but had play continuing for several seconds.
McCann’s 20th goal of the season marked a new career high. He became the first player in Kraken history to reach the 20-goal plateau in a season.
“We got one at the end, and hopefully that can carry over; something to loosen us up and get us going in the right direction,” said Hakstol.
The Kraken will depart Wednesday for a three-game road trip, next up facing Winnipeg on Thursday at 5pm PT (950 KJR/Kraken Audio Network).
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