Kadri scores twice to get to 20 goals; Leafs beat Flames 4-0 (Jan 23, 2017)

BY AP • January 24, 2017

TORONTO (AP) Nazem Kadri is scoring a whole bunch more for the Toronto Maple Leafs this season with a little luck on his side.

Kadri scored twice to tie his career high with 20 goals this season, Frederik Andersen stopped 26 shots and the Maple Leafs ended a two-game winless streak with a 4-0 win over the Calgary Flames on Monday night.

Kadri beat Brian Elliott twice, and Andersen captured his second shutout as a Leaf.

The 26-year-old Kadri doesn't think the opportunities he is getting this year are any different from last, though he has come around to getting his shot off more quickly than before.

''Not even more chances,'' he said. ''I think (it's) just being able to put the puck in the back of the net and cash in on my opportunities. Obviously, last year was a year like no other in terms of just breaks and bounces and shooting percentage and all that stuff. You figured it had to change if you stuck with it.''

Rookies Mitch Marner and Zach Hyman also scored for Toronto, which sits third in the Atlantic Division with 53 points.

Elliott gave up four goals on 28 shots, dropping his fourth consecutive start.

The Flames have lost three in a row and five of the past six. They are a point up on Vancouver for the final wild-card spot in the Western Conference.

Toronto got the early jump with a late first-period tally from Marner. Martin Marincin's point shot initially bounced off Mikael Backlund before landing on the tape of Nikita Zaitsev, and his shot was tipped by the 19-year-old Marner in front.

''I think if we don't let in that goal at the end of the first, it's a whole different game,'' Elliott said. ''We won a draw and (the puck) ended up back in our zone after an icing and sometimes you hurt yourself a little bit.''

It was the 11th goal of the season for Marner. He later added an assist to leap into first in the NHL's rookie scoring race, now with 39 points, one ahead of teammate Auston Matthews and two ahead of injured Winnipeg wing Patrik Laine.

Elliott entered Monday with the worst save percentage (.893) among NHL goaltenders with at least 20 starts this season.

Toronto scored twice in the second period, and Kadri got the first off the rush.

It started with Matthews falling to the ice and slapping the puck out of the defensive zone. Fellow rookie William Nylander, also oddly down on the ice in the neutral zone, slid it over to Kadri, and he whipped a shot through Flames defenseman Deryk Engelland and by the glove of Elliott.

It was the 100th career goal for Kadri.

Elliott stopped the first shot on a short-handed opportunity for Hyman about 10 minutes later but couldn't prevent the second attempt from squeaking through.

Hyman scored his first short-handed goal of the season two games earlier against the New York Rangers.

Kadri added his second of the night on an early third-period power play when his shot from the top of the left faceoff circle eluding Elliott. Kadri matched a career-high for goals set in 78 games during the 2013-14 season.

NOTES: The Leafs were without their top D Morgan Rielly for a third straight game. Zaitsev (two assists) and Jake Gardiner got bigger minutes in his absence.


Flames: Play at Montreal on Tuesday night.

Maple Leafs: Begin a six-game trip at Detroit on Wednesday night.

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