James Reimer finally allowed a goal, but the Toronto Maple Leafs offense stepped up to outduel the visiting Edmonton Oilers 6-3 on Monday for their third straight victory.
Reimer entered the night having posted 74 saves in two consecutive shutouts, but it was teammate Phil Kessel who took on the role of game-winner from the goaltender with two goals to lead the Maple Leafs’ charge.
Kessel pushed his goal total to 29 on the season with his two scores, but was keen to praise the role of his teammates.
The win moved Toronto (28-19-6) into seventh in the tight Eastern Conference playoff race.
Edmonton’s Jordan Eberle netted a score 21 seconds into the game to end any hope of a third straight Toronto shutout.
He then added another late in a first period to level the game at 2-2 after Clarke -MacArthur and Jake Gardiner had scored for the Maple Leafs.
The Maple Leafs then took control with early second-period scores from Kessel and Tyler Bozak to grab a 4-2 lead.
Jeff Petry pulled the visitors within a score midway through the second.
However, Joffrey Lupul answered for Toronto a few minutes later and Kessel capped the scoring in the final 1 minute, 5 seconds of the game.
Reimer finished with 27 saves to top Devan Dubnyk’s 25 stops for Edmonton as the Oilers (21-27-5) had their three-game winning streak snapped.
COYOTES 3, RED WINGS 1
In Glendale, Arizona, Mike Smith stopped 30 shots, while Martin Hanzal scored twice as the Phoenix Coyotes ended a seven-game losing streak to Detroit with a victory over the Red Wings.
Boyd Gordon had a short-handed goal in the first period, while Hanzal scored on a power play in the second for Phoenix.
Detroit picked up the pressure in the third, but Smith made some difficult saves and Hanzal scored his eighth of the season into an empty net in the closing seconds to give the Coyotes consecutive wins over San Jose and Detroit, two of the Western Conference’s best teams.
Johan Franzen scored his 20th goal for the Red Wings, who lost for the third time in 12 games.
In Monday’s other game, it was:
‧ Ducks 3, Flames 2, SO