Phil Kessel, Tyler Bozak and Joffrey Lupul each scored in the second period, while the Oilers could only respond with one (Jeff Petry
), breaking a 2-2 tie and putting the home side up a commanding 5-3 score. With the help of James Reimer and his 27 saves, it was enough to down the Oilers by a 6-3 count Monday night at Air Canada Centre.
scored the other Oilers goals, while Kessel added another to seal victory with an empty-net tally.
The Oilers wasted little time in getting on the board, as Sam Gagner
-- who's notched 11 points in his last two games -- made a heads-up centering play to Jordan Eberle
. No. 14 quickly corralled the loose disc and and potted the puck past a sprawling James Reimer for his 23rd of the season 21 seconds in.
While the orange and blue carried a decided territorial advantage as the period's 10-minute mark approached, trouble in their own end ended up costing the equalizer. At 8:21 and with a Corey Potter
giveaway fuelling the home side's attack, Mikhail Grabovski ditched a drop-pass to Clarke MacArthur in the slot, and the veteran made no mistake in rifling a half-slapper past Devan Dubnyk
on Toronto's fourth shot.
Looking to regain the lead and cash his second of the night, Eberle stripped Dion Phaneuf deep in the Leafs' end, walked in and nearly capped another goal, but Reimer stood tall in preserving the 1-1 score.
Still running around in the defensive zone, the Oilers got nipped once more. With Grabovski buzzing, another pass to the slot by Toronto's No. 84 caught a teammate's stick, with an unattended Jake Gardiner ripping a one-timer, glove-side, on the Oilers' sophomore netminder at 13:45.
Eberle, still gunning for another, did with only 2:30 to play in the period. Paired with Jeff Petry
on a 2-on-1 opportunity, the youngers orchestrated a back-and-forth passing session which resulted in the sophomore winger tapping home his second of the night, pulling the visitors even, 2-2.
Edmonton nearly scored another late in the period as Ryan Smyth
crashed the crease, but it deemed that No. 94 had made incidental contact with the goaltender; thus, no goal was scored and no penalty was called.
Through 20 minutes, the 2-2 score held as Edmonton carried a 16-11 edge in shots into the middle period.
Just like the Oilers did in the opening period, Toronto wasted no time in scoring to establish a one-goal lead. All-Star Phil Kessel went undetected behind the net, circling out in front as a well-placed (and timed) Matthew Lombardi pass arrived. With an open cage to shoot at, Kessel deposited the puck with ease to put the Oilers down 3-2 at 1:45.
Just like that, the Oilers succumbed to another. With Cam Barker
lazily patrolling the D zone slot, Tyler Bozak picked the blueliner's pocket and chipped the puck on goal; making matters worse, Dubnyk swiped at the bouncing puck, but came up empty as the biscuit hopped over the line 2:30 later.
Toronto's quick-strike prompted Associate Coach Ralph Krueger to call his 30-second timeout.
As the game's midway point passed, the Oilers continued to lead in shots with a 19-17 advantage; and, perhaps most importantly, the orange and blue got back in the game with several strong sequences to regain the ever-precious momentum.
That soon paid dividends. On a simple-as-can-be play, Jeff Petry
blasted a point shot on goal; the puck was redirected en route by a blue and white-clad skater, beating Reimer and bringing the Oilers back within one.
Following an ill-advised turnover at the other end by Taylor Hall
, Toronto rushed back and nearly converted on a 2-on-1; Dubnyk stood tall, however, stoning the chance and preserving the score momentarily. But the home side kept battling and, while Dion Phaneuf's ensuing point shot was knocked down, Joffrey Lupul knocked it down and potted home his 21st to reestablish the Leafs' two-goal advantage.
That's the way the period would end. With 40 minutes expired, Edmonton continued to lead in shots (23-22), but Toronto held the more important statistic, up 5-3 on the scoreboard.
The Oilers pressed early in the third and it resulted in a high-quality 2-on-1 chance for Anton Lander
and Ben Eager
. The rookie Swede placed a cross-ice pass to No. 55 at the near hash marks and, while Eager connected with authority, Reimer came up with a sensational denial to keep the Leafs in front by two.
has headed to the locker room and he will not return to tonight's game.
With 8:30 to play, Toronto's Cody Franson bulleted a point shot on goal and it was redirected on the way by Joey Crabb. The puck eluded Dubnyk's grasp, but it caught iron to keep the teams apart by a pair. Moments later, Jordan Eberle
blasted a point shot at the other end and, while Reimer couldn't see the shot, it plunked off the crossbar and into the meshing up and over the goal.
The Oilers pulled Dubnyk for an extra-attacker with 2:40 to play. At 18:55, Kessel notched his second of the night when he launched the puck into the empty cage to secure a 6-3 Toronto win.