Tavares has goal, 2 assists to help Maple Leafs beat Oilers

EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) — John Tavares had a goal and two assists and the Toronto Maple Leafs held off the Edmonton Oilers 3-2 on Saturday night.

Morgan Rielly and Jake Muzzin also scored and Frederik Andersen made 33 saves to help Toronto improve to 6-1-1 in its last eight.

“Probably other than the last couple of minutes, we played a really good road game,” Tavares said. “We didn’t get rewarded as much as I think we could have. Everyone was doing a lot of good things out there and making it hard for them to establish any offence or any momentum and we generated some chance and did a good job getting a three-goal lead that proved to be enough.”

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Oscar Klefbom scored for the Oilers, and Anthony Stolarz stopped 37 shots. They had won four in a row.

Stolarz was a surprise starter when it was announced Mikko Koskinen wouldn’t dress due to an illness.

“It’s a great game to evaluate on,” Oilers coach Ken Hitchcock said. “It tells you what you’ve got now and what you’ve got moving forward. And when you’ve got a team that can play at that tempo, especially through the middle of the ice, any mistakes get exposed. Any time that you decide on the ice to rest, you get exposed. And I thought we hung in there really well.”

Rielly opened the scoring with a point shot on a power play with 14 seconds left in the first period.

Toronto made it 2-0 lead at 12:28 of the second when Tavares shrugged off a defender and made a nice move to chip his 38th of the season over Stolarz. Muzzin connected three minutes into the third off a feed from William Nylander.

Nugent-Hopkins ended Andersen’s shutout bid with 1:39 left with Stolarz off for an extra attacker. Leon Draisaitl assisted on the goal to extend his points streak to 13 games, the longest active run in the NHL.

The Oilers got another goal with Stolarz on the bench when Connor McDavid set up Klefbom with 53 seconds remaining.

NOTES: It was the second and final meeting between the two teams. Toronto won the first game 6-2 at home on Feb. 27… Toronto center Nazem Kadri returned to the lineup after missing eight games because of a concussion.


Maple Leafs: Host Tampa Bay on Monday night.

Oilers: Host New York Rangers on Monday night.