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game recap

Maple Leafs score seven in win against Jets in season opener

Marleau has two goals in debut, Matthews gets three points

by Scott Billeck / Correspondent

WINNIPEG -- Patrick Marleau scored two goals in his debut for the Toronto Maple Leafs in a 7-2 win against the Winnipeg Jets in the season opener at Bell MTS Place on Wednesday.

Marleau, who spent the past 19 seasons with the San Jose Sharks before signing with the Maple Leafs on July 2, scored his 509th and 510th NHL goals.

"Great play by [Auston Matthews] getting it over to me and then kind of kicked it up to my skate and was able to deke around [Jets goalie Steve Mason]," Marleau said of his first goal.


[WATCH: Complete Maple Leafs vs. Jets highlights]


Nazem Kadri, William Nylander and Mitchell Marner also scored, and Matthews and James van Riemsdyk each had one goal and two assists for Toronto. Frederik Andersen made 35 saves, 17 in the first period.

Mark Scheifele and Mathieu Perreault scored for the Jets.

Mason allowed five goals on 20 shots and was pulled for Connor Hellebuyck 36 seconds into the third period. Hellebuyck made nine saves.

Toronto killed all eight of Winnipeg's power plays. The Jets scored 13 of their 17 preseason goals with the man-advantage.

"Our penalty kill came up huge for us and we scored when it counted," Matthews said. "They've obviously got some shooters, some guys that can put the puck in the net, and we definitely limited some of their chances. Obviously, Freddie came up just huge sometimes. That's what you need, especially in a game like this. We know they're calling it tight so we've got to be better in that area."

Video: TOR@WPG: Matthews tips Carrick's shot past Hellebuyck

The Maple Leafs scored three times in a span of 2:38 in the first period.

Kadri made it 1-0 at 15:45 on the power play. Van Riemsdyk was unsuccessful on two quick shots on goal before Kadri scored off a rebound.

Van Riemsdyk made it 2-0 at 17:40 followed by Nylander, who scored 43 seconds later to make it 3-0.

"You blink and it's 3-0," Jets captain Blake Wheeler said. "We just weren't able to dig our way out of it."

Marleau scored at 8:32 of the second to make it 4-0.

Video: TOR@WPG: Marleau notches second goal on Kadri's feed

"You can see how hungry they are out there, not only in games but in practice," Marleau said of Matthews and Marner, who assisted on his first goal. "They're striving to get better each and every day and you want to be part of that and you can feed off that for sure."

Marleau scored his second of the game 36 seconds into the third, his wrist shot beating Mason from the slot.

Marner made it 6-0 on the power play at 8:07.

"We did it to ourselves on some of them," Jets coach Paul Maurice said. "The third goal is a reasonably easy read to make if you're thinking about defending at that point. But we're thinking about let's get it back as fast as we can, and that is a bit of a holdover concept. And that's how you get in trouble. Relax, patience. But we blew the zone on that and got in real trouble with it."

Scheifele scored at 11:31 to make it 6-1 but Matthews scored 26 seconds later to make it 7-1.

Perreault made it 7-2 at 12:57.

"There's a lot of things that we did right tonight, and then you can see when you don't do it right you end up giving up a couple goals so it's a good reminder," Marleau said.


Goal of the game

Matthews drew two defenders to the right corner, allowing a clear path to the net. Matthews passed the puck out to Marleau and his deke beat Mason.

Video: TOR@WPG: Marleau scores in first game with Leafs


Save of the game

Andersen got his right pad on a wrist shot by Shawn Matthias on a breakaway with the Maple Leafs leading 3-0 early in the second period.


Highlight of the game

Patrik Laine took the puck at Toronto's blue line and carried it down low, backhanding a cross-ice pass through the crease to Scheifele, who scored on a one-timer at the side of the net.

Video: TOR@WPG: Scheifele one-times Laine's terrific dish


They said it

"We took so many penalties. The goalie had to be so good early. You know how hockey is, if they score on one of those early, and they get confidence, who knows, the game could be different, especially in their building. We were able to make a few adjustments on our penalty kill and we scored timely goals. You don't have to worry about scoring goals when you score right away." -- Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock


"I think we came out the way we wanted to. We played hard, we played fast, put it to the net, got a lot of shots through. I think they got a couple lucky bounces. I don't know what happened." -- Jets forward Nikolaj Ehlers

Need to know

Wednesday was seventh time Toronto has scored at least seven goals in a season opener. ...Marleau skated in the 1,494th game of his NHL career and first with a team other than the Sharks. ...Matthews, who scored four goals in his NHL debut last season, became the fourth player in League history to start each of his first two seasons with at least three points in his team's season-opening game. He had a goal and two assists.


What's next

Maple Leafs: Host the New York Rangers on Saturday (7 p.m. ET; CBC, MSG, NHL.TV)

Jets: At the Calgary Flames on Saturday (10 p.m. ET; SN1, CITY, NHL.TV)


Video: Matthews, Marleau lead Leafs' onslaught in opener

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