Matthews scores as Leafs down Predators 5-2
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Auston Matthews had a goal in his return from a shoulder injury that sidelined him for 10 games and the Toronto Maple Leafs beat the Nashville Predators 5-2 on Thursday night.
The Predators had been 14-0-1 since their previous regulation loss on Feb. 17.
James van Riemsdyk and Mitchell Marner each had a goal and an assist, and William Nylander and Jake Gardiner also scored for Toronto, which has won five of six.
Morgan Rielly had three assists for the Maple Leafs, and Tyler Bozak had two. Frederik Andersen stopped 23 shots.
Viktor Arvidsson and Scott Hartnell scored for Nashville. Pekka Rinne had 23 saves.
Van Riemsdyk scored on a power play 4:03 into the first period off a pass from Marner. Van Riemsdyk tried to pass between his skates, but the puck deflected off defenseman Roman Josi’s stick and past Rinne. It was van Riemsdyk’s team-leading 11th power-play goal.
Arvidsson tied it with a power-play goal 5:42 into the second before Matthews and Nylander scored 1:38 apart late in the period to make it 3-1.
Marner’s power-play goal at nine seconds of the third made it 4-1. Toronto has scored at least one goal with the man advantage in seven straight games.
Gardiner’s slap shot from the left side gave Toronto a 5-1 lead at 3:39 of the third.
Hartnell scored his 13th of the season at 15:37.
NOTES: U.S. Olympic women’s hockey gold medalists Monique Lamoureux-Morando and Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson attended the game. .. Nashville C Kyle Turris played his 600th NHL game. ... Van Riemsdyk has eight goals in his last five games. ... Toronto is 19-8-2 against the Western Conference this season. ... Marner extended his point streak to seven games.
Maple Leafs: Host Detroit Saturday.
Predators: At Minnesota Saturday.
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