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game recap

Tavares scores twice in Maple Leafs win against Canucks

Toronto 6-3-0 with Keefe as coach; Vancouver denied third straight victory

by Kevin Woodley / Independent Correspondent

Tavares' deft tip-in

TOR@VAN: Tavares doubles lead on redirection

John Tavares cuts across the slot and subtly tips home a point shot from Cody Ceci, giving the Maple Leafs a 2-0 lead late in the 2nd

  • 00:35 •

VANCOUVER -- John Tavares had two goals and an assist for the Toronto Maple Leafs in a 4-1 win against the Vancouver Canucks at Rogers Arena on Tuesday.

Auston Matthews and Zach Hyman also scored, and Frederik Andersen made 38 saves for Toronto (15-13-4), which has won the first two of a four-game road trip. Justin Holl and Mitchell Marner each had two assists.

Andersen made three breakaway saves in the third period, twice on Brock Boeser and one against Bo Horvat.

"We love to see it, but at the same time we don't want to give up five breakaways in the third period, or whatever we did," Holl said. "That's kind of embarrassing for us, so it's something we need to clean up. But it's obviously comforting to have them back there."


[WATCH: All Maple Leafs vs. Canucks highlights]


Josh Leivo scored, and Jacob Markstrom made 22 saves for Vancouver (15-12-4), which tried to win three in a row for the second time this season.

"I thought we played a heck of a game tonight," Horvat said. "They capitalized on their chances and their goaltender stood on his head. Sometimes you have to tip your cap and take the positives out of this one and go on to the next game.

"If we play like that for a lot of the games this year, we win. It's a tough loss to take; I wish we at least got a point out of it."

Matthews gave the Maple Leafs a 1-0 lead 1:45 into the second period after Holl's point shot went wide. Tavares got the puck below the goal line and made a blind backhand pass to Matthews at the top edge of the crease for a quick shot over Markstrom's left pad.

Video: TOR@VAN: Matthews nets Tavares' pass in front

It was Matthews' third goal in two games after going five without one, but he credited Andersen for the win.

"Unbelievable saves," Matthews said. "He's been great for us. Ideally, you probably wouldn't want to see him make five breakaway saves in one game, but that's just a credit to him and he's just dialed in, huge saves to keep the lead for us and then a couple big goals by [Tavares]."

Tavares, who was held without a point the previous three games, made it 2-0 with 19 seconds left in the period when he redirected Cody Ceci's point shot in the slot.

"Scoring that goal kind of gave us a little bit of a momentum," Matthews said.

Leivo made it 2-1 when he scored on a rebound scramble at 11:14 of the third. Leivo, who played seven seasons in the Maple Leafs organization, has six points (five goals, one assist) in his past six games.

"We had a lot of chances; I don't think we should be down on the way we played. We battled, we had a lot of shots," Leivo said. "Andersen stood on his head and played really well."

Video: TOR@VAN: Tavares nets second for insurance marker

Tavares made it 3-1 at 14:58 with a wrist shot under Markstrom's blocker from the right face-off circle.

Marner, who played his third game after missing 11 with an ankle sprain, had an assist on each of Tavares' goals.

"Just trying to play my game and get more comfortable again with [Marner] back on our line and getting that familiarity again," Tavares said. "Just continue to build from here."

Hyman scored into an empty net with 1:44 left for the 4-1 final.


They said it

"A lot of stuff happened pretty quickly out there. That's the fastest game that I've been a part of in the League in terms of the speed and the competitiveness overall in the game, start to finish. It's going to take us a little time to really process everything that happened, but I felt when we got there we were able to make good on the chances, and that's a good sign." -- Maple Leafs coach Sheldon Keefe

"At least I'm getting the chances. I really wanted to make this a statement game. I think the first time I tried to shoot a little too hard rather than picking my spot. I thought I shot everywhere on him tonight. He had a really solid game." -- Canucks forward Brock Boeser on Maple Leafs goalie Frederik Andersen


Need to know

Toronto is 6-3-0 since Keefe replaced Mike Babcock as coach on Nov. 20. … Matthews' goal was his 100th at even strength in 244 NHL games. Washington Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin is the only active player to reach that milestone faster (243 games). … Hyman has four goals in his past three games. … Canucks forward Micheal Ferland, who was playing his second game back after missing 17 with a concussion, left after one shift in the second period because of an upper-body injury. There was no update after the game.


What's next

Maple Leafs: At the Calgary Flames on Thursday (9 p.m. ET; SNW, TSN4, NHL.TV)

Canucks: Host the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday (10 p.m. ET; SNP, FS-CR, NHL.TV)

Video: Tavares' three points help Maple Leafs down Canucks

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