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Five Takeaways - Leafs vs. Flames - 01/23/17

Here are five takeaways from the Maple Leafs' 4-0 victory over the Calgary Flames Monday at Air Canada Centre:

by Adam Proteau / MapleLeafs.com

Marner's tip-in tally

CGY@TOR: Marner redirects Zaitsev's shot into the net

Mitchell Marner gets his stick down and deflects Nikita Zaitsev's shot over Brian Elliott's glove to give the Maple Leafs a 1-0 lead in the 1st

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Marner deflects Zaitsev shot late in first to put Toronto ahead entering second frame. In the final contest of a four-game homestand, the Maple Leafs got off to a decent start, outshooting the Flames 13-8 in the first 20 minutes. However, despite both teams giving each other a power play opportunity in the first period, neither side scored until Toronto rookie Mitch Marner tipped a shot from blueliner Nikita Zaitsev past Calgary goalie Brian Elliott with 61 seconds before the first intermission to put the Buds on the scoresheet first.

The goal was Marner's 11th of the year (and his first since a Jan. 3 tilt against Washington) - tying him with winger Connor Brown for fifth on the team among goal-scorers - and it was his 12th point in his past 10 games. Meanwhile, the assist was Zaitsev's 17th of the year, tying him for fifth place on the team in helpers. Toronto's scoring depth has been a major asset this season, and Marner's deft deflection was an example of the many ways he can contribute in the offensive zone.

Video: CGY@TOR: Kadri buries his 100th career goal

Leafs increase their lead in second after savvy play from Nylander leads to milestone goal for Kadri. The Flames were awarded three more power plays by the officials in the second period, but it was the Leafs who added to their lead at the 7:00 mark of the middle frame when winger William Nylander - despite being knocked to the ice right at the centre ice mark - managed to sweep the puck to centre Nazem Kadri. The veteran then carried the puck over the blueline and beat Elliott for his 19th goal of the season and his 100th career NHL regular season goal in his 371st career game.

After scoring, Kadri needed one more goal this year to equal his career high in a single season (set in the 2013-14 campaign) - and he'd get it soon afterward. The 26-year-old's confidence at both ends of the ice has never looked higher, and his edge helps make Toronto tough to play.

Video: CGY@TOR: Hyman finishes own rebound for SHG

Hyman keeps the goals coming for Buds with shorthanded marker late in second. Winger Zach Hyman has become one of Toronto's key penalty-killers thanks to his relentless drive and tenacity around the puck - and that paid off for him when the Leafs were killing off their fourth minor penalty of the evening late in the second: Hyman broke in on Elliott on a 2-on-1 shorthanded rush, fired the puck at Elliott, then pushed it through the goalie's legs for his seventh goal of the year and a 3-0 Buds lead at 16:55 of the second.

Hyman's resolve from shift-to-shift and game-to-game can never be questioned, which is why he's so trusted by head coach Mike Babcock and his staff. He might not finish with the most time on ice of any forward, but he'll empty his tank in the minutes he receives, and that's all Babcock is looking for. And on Monday, he was rewarded for it with his second shorthanded goal in his past three games.

Video: CGY@TOR: Kadri nets PPG for second tally of the game

Kadri registers second of the night to extend Leafs' lead early in third. The Leafs didn't score on their first two power plays, but after Calgary's Alex Chiasson was called for roughing at the 1:33 mark of the third, Kadri took a pass from Marner and ripped the shot over Elliott's right shoulder for his second of the game and 20th of the season. That all but put the contest out of reach for the visitors, who had lost four of five games coming into Monday's action and were on the first game of a three-game eastern road swing.

Kadri's goals gives him 33 points in 45 games this year, placing him fourth on the Leafs' points leader list. Marner picked up his second point of the game on the play, and he vaulted ahead of winger James van Riemsdyk and centre Auston Matthews (both of whom have 38 points) and into first place on Toronto's point-producer list with 28 assists and 39 points in 45 games.  

Video: CGY@TOR: Andersen denies Backlund's one-timer

Andersen. Leafs goalie Frederik Andersen was in fine form in this game, and made a number of stops early on that allowed his teammates to build the lead throughout the night, and was instrumental in killing off all five Calgary man advantages. The veteran stopped all 26 Flames shots to record his second shutout with Toronto and the eighth of his NHL career. 

Andersen's season record now stands at 20-10-8, and the 27-year-old continues to consistently provide the Buds with high-quality netminding. He's as crucial a component of the Leafs' success this year as anyone.

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