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techkenyot.com January 17, 2019


Kadri, Andersen lead Leafs to fifth straight, signs of JVR's exit??

15 February 2018, 06:17 | Silvia Roy

Kadri, Andersen lead Leafs to fifth straight, signs of JVR's exit??

Kadri, Andersen lead Leafs to fifth straight, signs of JVR's exit??

Nazem Kadri had three goals and two assists, Frederik Andersen made a career-high 54 saves and the surging Toronto Maple Leafs beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 6-3 on Wednesday night.

Kadri, who endured a scoring drought for almost a quarter of the season, has broken out after the addition of Mitch Marner to his line, with 16 points (6 goals, 10 assists) in his last 12 games. Babcock said after the game he didn't know exactly why Marner and Kadri have clicked so well when they had no chemistry to speak of last season, but Marner said it's the line's ability to play with so much speed that helps set them apart.

The production far exceeds what Kadri and Marleau managed with Leo Komarov, their regular linemate for a large chunk of the season.

"I used them together past year and they were no good together", said Babcock. "I used them together past year and they were no good together". "You move them around and once in awhile you get lucky".

Andersen also turned in a solid performance as the Maple Leafs closed out a ideal five-game homestand.

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Goalie Frederik Andersen also had a career night, turning aside a career-high 54 of 57 shots, a lot of them when the game was on the line in the first and second periods.

The Blue Jackets recorded 50 or more shots for the third straight game, making them the first team to accomplish the feat in the post-expansion era (since 1967-68).

The most telling metrics of Andersen's importance to the club: He's faced 40-plus shots an astounding eight times this season, and he's yet to lose in regulation in any of those contests, going 6-0-2. Marner, meanwhile, had one goal and two assists in that time, playing elsewhere in the lineup.

As ready as they were for the onslaught of shots, the business of beating a team that was dominating them in the defensive zone became significantly harder when Jake Gardiner left the game after playing just 5:44. Babcock said Gardiner had "some sort of lower body thing, some kind of spasm".

The final score didn't swing in the Blue Jackets' favour, but if it weren't for Andersen, the Leafs may have found themselves in insurmountable trouble early on.

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"I thought (Tyler) Bozak and James (van Riemsdyk) and Marner were outstanding last year, and it hasn't worked this year". It was Johnson's third goal of the season. Oliver Bjorkstrand and Pierre-Luc Dubois scored power-play goals in the second to give the visiting Columbus Blue Jackets a 4-1 win over the New York Islanders. Connor McDavid and Patrick Maroon each had a goal and an assist for the Oilers, and Leon Draisaitl, Drake Caggiula and Anton Slepyshev also scored.

Kadri completed the hat trick at 11:21 of the third period.

Jack Johnson fired a slap shot from the left circle that beat Andersen and went off the post and into the net to cut the Leafs lead to 4-3.

Toronto restored its two-goal lead when Kadri centred a pass to Marner, who beat Korpisalo on a one-timer to make it 4-2. Marleau and Marner collected assists.

Marleau then scored an empty-net goal at 18:13. As a unit, the Kadri line tallied 10 points in the game, adding to the 25 points they collectively amassed in their previous nine games.

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