The Toronto Maple Leafs will be going for their third consecutive victory Monday night, while the visiting Arizona Coyotes will be trying for their first of the season.
After dropping their season opener to the Canadiens in Montreal on Wednesday, the Maple Leafs have won the first two games of a four-game homestand.
Most recently, they defeated the Ottawa Senators 3-2 on Saturday night on Justin Holl’s goal at 18:05 of the third period.
The Coyotes, who are opening the season with a six-game road trip, lost their second straight to open the season Saturday, 6-3 to the Boston Bruins.
Ilya Samsonov has played in goal for both of Toronto’s wins. Opening-game starting goaltender Matt Murray (groin) was put on long-term injured reserve and will be out about four weeks after being injured during Saturday’s morning skate.
Murray had been scheduled to start on Saturday against his former team. Samsonov took his place and made 26 saves.
“(Samsonov) looked really calm and settled in the net,” Toronto coach Sheldon Keefe said. “You could tell he grew from one start to the next. That’s what you are looking for is for a guy to get comfortable. Not expecting to start, but it changes your day, your plans, and all those kind of things, but it didn’t look like he missed a beat, so that was good to see.”
“He was amazing,” Holl said. “He saved us. A lot of times he was very solid. I can’t say enough good things about how he’s been playing.”
Erik Kallgren, who played 14 games last season with the Maple Leafs, was called up from the AHL Toronto Marlies on Saturday to be the backup.
With the salary cap space created by Murray’s absence, the Maple Leafs added to their depth Sunday by calling up forward Nick Robertson and defenseman Victor Mete from the Marlies, as well as forward Wayne Simmonds, who was waived last week.
Maple Leafs captain John Tavares had an assist on Saturday and needs one point to reach 900 points in his 14-year career NHL career.
The Coyotes came back in the third period to tie their game 3-3 against the Bruins, who then scored twice within 3:20 of game time to reestablish the lead.
“The good thing, I guess, is we’re frustrated — when you’re not close, you’re not frustrated,” Coyotes coach Andre Tourigny said. “We were right there.”
Dylan Guenther, 19, earned his first career NHL point with an assist in his NHL debut.
“I think it took me a few shifts the first period to get my feet under me, and then thinking, ‘I can play with these guys,” Guenther said. “I think I got better as the game went on, got more comfortable, and I felt pretty good towards the end.”
Arizona’s special teams did well on Saturday. Clayton Keller scored with a man advantage, and Shayne Gostisbehere scored while the team was short-handed. The Coyotes have three power-play goals in two games this season.
“Just trying to make plays out there and help your team any way you can,” Gostisbehere said of his unassisted goal against the Bruins, which tied the game in the third.
“I think it gave us a boost, but obviously (the Bruins are) a veteran team down there and they know how to respond to situations like that, so I think for us that’s what we’re learning over here.”
–Field Level Media