RECAP: Leafs 4, Oilers 0
James Reimer made 43 saves and the Leafs skated past Edmonton in a 4-0 rout tonight
EDMONTON, AB - Much unlike the first meeting this season between these two teams, this game was lopsided in scoring as Toronto's Phil Kessel tallied four points, James Reimer made 43 saves and the Leafs skated past Edmonton in a 4-0 rout tonight, which moved the Leafs to 9-4-0 on the season and dropped the Oilers to 3-9-2.
"James Reimer was able to keep that puck out of the net and, a lot of times, I'm not sure how he did it," said Oilers Head Coach Dallas Eakins. "Goaltending is an interesting position. It doesn't have to be pretty, it just has to happen and he was able to do that tonight."
It took just 68 seconds for Toronto to grab the first goal of the game and it was a highlight reel worthy deke and dangle from Phil Kessel. The Leafs forward received a great centring pass from Nazem Kadri, from the half boards, and went one-on-one with Oilers goalie Richard Bachman, getting the better of him on that goal to give the visitors a 1-0 lead.
Another quick goal at the start of a period would give Toronto the 2-0 lead, just 1:41 into the second.
Kessel picked up his second point on the night with a centring pass to James van Riemsdyk on a 2-on-1 rush. Oilers defenceman Anton Belov committed to Kessel, freeing up van Riemsdyk at the top of the crease and the Maple Leafs winger tapped in the goal.
"That's definitely deflating," said Oilers centre Sam Gagner. "It could have been 1-1 and then it ends up being two-all. They're an opportunistic group over there and they find ways to score goals. I think for us, we've had enough talk about the process and doing things the right way and saying that it's coming. It's time to figure out how to win some games and we just need to buckle down in the important situations in the game."
The third of Kessel's points came in the form of his second goal of the night. Backdoor from a steep angle, the Leafs centre roofed a shot past Bachman at 8:42 of the second. Dion Phaneuf and Kadri were awarded the assists on the tally which gave their team a 3-0 lead. The goal was Kessel's ninth of the season.
"I'm getting a couple of good bounces right now and some good passes," said Kessel. "I'm fortunate right now."
With 13:46 remaining in regulation, the Leafs scored on a pretty tic-tac-toe passing clinic which left the Oilers down 4-0. Kadri finished off the play after it looked like, the former fifth overall pick in 2012, Morgan Rielly might have scored his first NHL goal.
Reilly and Kessel bagged the helpers on the play, giving Kessel his fourth point of the night.
Reimer's 43 saves propelled him to his eleventh career NHL shutout.
David Perron (illness) did not suit up for the Oilers, which led to the team skating Denis Grebeshkov as the seventh defenceman.