Edler scores in OT, Canucks rally to beat Maple Leafs 3-2
VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) — Josh Leivo had a memorable game facing his former team for the first time.
“That’s a goal I can remember for a while,” Leivo said. “It felt great but even better that the boys battled back and got the win.”
The 25-year-old left wing was dealt to the Canucks by the Maple Leafs in early December and didn’t play in Vancouver’s 5-0 loss at Toronto on Jan. 5.
“That one feels good,” Vancouver’s Bo Horvat said. “The relentlessness and the character in this room that we battled back against a team like that, it’s not easy to do and I thought we played a heck of a 60 minutes tonight.”
On the game-winner, Edler got a crisp cross-ice pass from Brock Boeser in the neutral zone and found his way to the top of the circle, where he fired a quick wrist shot past Toronto goalie Frederik Andersen. It was Edler’s sixth of the season and his first point since returning from the concussion he sustained in a scary-looking crash on Feb. 4. The 32-year-old Swede saw just over 27 minutes of ice time in the win.
“My body felt better today,” Edler said. “That’s always nice, when you have your legs.”
“Just little mistakes that we’ve got to fix. Going forward, we’re going to look at it and be better at it,” said Toronto’s Mitch Marner, who extended his point streak to five games with an assist. “We’ve been pretty good all year at holding those leads so we can’t get frustrated about this one.”
Toronto coach Mike Babcock said he didn’t like the way his squad started the game.
“We had a real good second and I didn’t even mind our third to tell you the truth,” he said. “But any way you look at it, we went into the (third) period up 2-0 and we lost in overtime and we should find a way to win that game. That part is disappointing. They were more urgent than we were.”
Eriksson started the Canucks’ comeback 1:21 into the third with his 10th of the season and first point in 15 games,
Two minutes later, the Leafs were called for having too many men on the ice, sending the Canucks to their third power play of the night. Nikolay Goldobin fed Leivo a cross-ice pass and the former Leafs player put the puck past Andersen to tie the score 2-2.
“Our team doesn’t quit and we have shown that all year. We have battled back a lot this year,” Vancouver coach Travis Green said. “I know a lot of media members think we’re done and can’t come back. (The team) knows the odds are against them but they are not done yet.”
Toronto took a 1-0 lead with a short-handed goal midway through the
Toronto’s first of the night was a short-handed goal midway through the second after Patrick Marleau was called for hooking. Canucks center Markus Granlund turned over the puck high in Leafs territory, resulting in a 2-on-1 for Marner and Hainsey. Marner stayed patient as he streaked into the Canucks’ zone, waiting for the perfect opportunity to slide the puck underneath the outstretched stick of Vancouver defenseman Troy Stecher. Hainsey took the pass on his tape and popped it behind Markstrom.
Just 34 seconds later, Rielly added to Toronto’s lead. Defenseman Derrick Pouliout couldn’t clear the puck from behind the Vancouver net and John Tavares picked it off. He slid it up to Rielly at the face-off dot and Rielly sent a snapshot flying through Markstrom’s five-hole.
NOTES: Vancouver has struggled with the man advantage recently, going just 2 for 34 over their previous 11 games. The Canucks were 1 for 4 against the Maple Leafs. … Vancouver D Ben Hutton missed the game after injuring his foot by blocking a shot against Vegas on Sunday. … Canucks C Ryan Spooner was out of the lineup with a groin injury. … F Luke Schenn got his first point in a Canucks jersey, assisting on Eriksson’s goal. … Toronto’s Patrick Marleau has now played a full season’s worth of games — 82 — against the Canucks over his career.
Maple Leafs: At Edmonton on Saturday night.
Canucks: At Edmonton on Thursday night.