Maple Leafs take top spot in North

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The Maple Leafs were a pretty disappointing team in 2019-20. They were talented, but wildly inconsistent and ultimately lost in the qualifying round to the Columbus Blue Jackets. It’s too early to tell if 2020-21 will be any different for them, but the results so far have given cause for cautious optimism.

Toronto has been great out of the gate with a 6-2-0 record, including their 4-3 win over Calgary last night. Mitchell Marner is tied with Connor McDavid for the scoring lead with five goals and 12 points in eight contests, but they haven’t been winning games by offensive might alone. While Tuesday’s victory was an exception, they held their opponents to two or fewer goals in four of their first six wins. It’s in stark contrast to last season where they finished third in goals per game, but were the sixth worst team in goals allowed per contest.

Will the Maple Leafs’ be able to maintain that? It’s not going to be easy, especially after losing backup goaltender Jack Campbell for weeks and given the offensive firepower in the all-Canadian Division, but if nothing else, Toronto is an interesting team to follow.

Editor’s Note: The Chicago Blackhawks will face the Nashville Predators Wednesday on NBCSN starting at 6:30 pm ET. Livestream all the action here.

BOSTON 3 PITTSBURGH 2 (OT)

Craig Smith scored the overtime winner. It was his second goal and fourth point in five games.

Brad Marchand had a goal and an assist for the Bruins. That gives him four goals and nine points in six contests.

Tuukka Rask stopped 28 of 30 Penguins shots. He’s allowed two or fewer goals in three of his first four starts.

At the other end of the ice, Tristan Jarry saved 33 of 36 shots. He has a 2-2-1 record, 3.91 GAA, and .868 save percentage in five starts. Those are some ugly numbers, but that’s mostly because he had two very rough starts at the beginning of the season.

Jason Zucker scored a goal and registered an assist for Pittsburgh. He has a goal and three points in seven contests.

BUFFALO 3 NY RANGERS 2

Jack Eichel accounted for the game-winning goal. It was his first goal and eighth point in seven games.

Linus Ullmark saved 28 of 30 Rangers shots. He improved to 2-1-1 with a 2.42 GAA and .912 save percentage in four starts.

Tobias Rieder found the back of the net for the Sabres. He has two goals and no assists in seven contests.

Chris Kreider scored a goal for the Rangers. That gives him two goals and points in six games.

Alexandar Georgiev stopped 21 of 24 shots last night. After earning a shutout in his first start of the season, he’s allowed seven goals over his last two starts.

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PHILADELPHIA 5 NEW JERSEY 3

James van Riemsdyk scored the first two goals of the game. The Flyers forward has five goals and seven points in seven contests.

Ivan Provorov netted a goal and registered two assists for the Flyers. He has two goals and five points in seven games.

Brian Elliott stopped 23 of 26 Devils shots. He has a 2-0-0 record, 1.97 GAA, and .938 save percentage in three games.

Pavel Zacha scored a goal for New Jersey. It was his second goal and point in six contests.

Scott Wedgewood stopped 26 of 30 shots Tuesday night. He’s had an odd start to the season. He allowed four goals in his first start, a shutout in the second, and another four-goal loss tonight.

WASHINGTON 3 NY ISLANDERS 2

Mathew Barzal scored a goal and registered an assist. The Islanders forward has three goals and six points in six contests.

Justin Schultz netted the game-winning goal and recorded an assist. He has two goals and four points in seven games.

John Carlson also had a goal and an assist for the Capitals. He’s up to two goals and seven points in seven games.

Vitek Vanecek kicked out 32 of 34 Islanders shots. He has a 3-0-2 record, 2.70 GAA, and .918 save percentage in five starts.

At the other end of the ice, Semyon Varlamov turned aside 34 of 37 shots. He dropped to a 3-1-0 record, 1.00 GAA, and .966 save percentage in four starts.

FLORIDA 4 COLUMBUS 3 (SO)

Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 19 of 22 shots in regulation time. He was beaten just once in five shootout rounds to get the extra point.

Joonas Korpisalo was the busier goaltender, saving 28 of 31 shots. However, he was beaten twice in the shootout and that was the difference.

Patric Hornqvist scored a goal in the third period and added the deciding goal in the shootout. He has four goals and five points in three contests.

Carter Verhaeghe found the back of the net and registered an assist. The Panthers forward has three goals and five points in three contests.

Alexandre Texier scored a goal for the Blue Jackets. It was his fourth goal and sixth point in seven games.

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NASHVILLE 3 CHICAGO 2 (OT)

Mikael Granlund scored a goal and registered an assist for Nashville. He has two goals and three points in three games.

Roman Josi netted the overtime winner. It was his first goal and second point in six contests.

Pekka Rinne kicked out 18 of 20 Blackhawks shots. He has a 1-1-0 record, 2.98 GAA, and .863 save percentage in three contests.

Dylan Strome found the back of the net for Chicago. That gives him two goals and five points in seven games.

Malcolm Subban stopped 36 of 39 shots on Tuesday. He fell to 0-1-1 with a 3.93 GAA and .889 save percentage in two starts.

WINNIPEG 6 EDMONTON 4

Darnell Nurse assisted on three of Edmonton’s four goals. He has a goal and six points in eight contests.

Mikko Koskinen turned aside 27 of 32 Jets shots. Edmonton had a 3-2 lead going into the final frame, but he allowed three goals on 12 shots in the third period.

Andrew Copp scored two goals and registered two assists for the Jets. He’s up to four goals and nine points in seven games.

Nikolaj Ehlers netted a goal and recorded three assists. That gives him five goals and 11 points in seven games.

Connor Hellebuyck kicked out 22 of 26 shots last night. He has a 4-1-0 record, 2.60 GAA, and .906 save percentage in five starts.

LOS ANGELES 2 MINNESOTA 1

Carl Grundstrom scored the game-winning goal. It was his second goal and point in five games.

Los Angeles’ other goal was scored by Kurtis MacDermid. He has a goal and two points in five contests.

Joel Eriksson Ek found the back of the net for Minnesota. He’s up to four goals and six points in seven games.

Kaapo Kahkonen stopped 19 of 21 Kings shots. He’s 2-2-0 with a 2.21 GAA and .918 save percentage in four contests.

Calvin Petersen kicked out 32 of 33 shots on Tuesday. He has a 1-2-0 record, 2.37 GAA, and .919 save percentage in three starts.

DALLAS 2 DETROIT 1 (OT)

John Klingberg scored a goal and registered an assist. He has a goal and six points in three contests.

Jason Dickinson netted the overtime winner. That gives him a goal and two points in three games.

Anton Khudobin stopped 20 of 21 Red Wings shots. He improved to 3-0-0 with a 0.99 GAA and .958 save percentage in three starts.

At the other end of the ice, Thomas Greiss saved 20 of 22 shots. He has an impressive 2.53 GAA and .917 save percentage in four starts, but Detroit hasn’t given him much support and he consequently has a 0-3-1 record.

Detroit’s only goal was scored by Vladislav Namestnikov. It was his first point of the 2020-21 campaign.

ST. LOUIS 5 VEGAS 4 (SO)

Max Pacioretty had a hat trick, including back-to-back goals in the third to force overtime. The Golden Knights still didn’t win, but at least he got them a point.

David Perron scored a pair of goals for St. Louis in regulation time. He also found the back of the net in the shootout.

Jaden Schwartz had a goal and an assist for the Blues. He’s up to two goals and six points in seven games.

Jordan Binnington stopped 42 of 46 shots in regulation time. He was bested once in three shootout rounds, which was good enough for the win.

Robin Lehner saved 21 of 25 shots prior to the skills competition. St. Louis beat him twice in three shootout rounds.

TORONTO 4 CALGARY 3

Mitchell Marner scored the game-winning goal and registered an assist. He already has five goals and 12 points in eight contests.

Auston Matthews also had a goal and an assist for the Maple Leafs. He’s up to four goals and eight points in seven games.

Frederik Andersen stopped 23 of 26 Flames shots. He is now 4-2-0 with a 2.84 GAA and .896 save percentage in six starts.

At the other end of the ice, Jacob Markstrom saved 17 of 21 shots. He has a 2-2-1 record, 2.63 GAA, and .911 save percentage in five starts.

Johnny Gaudreau scored a pair of goals for the Flames. That gives him four goals and seven points in five contests.

COLORADO 7 SAN JOSE 3

Martin Jones surrendered five goals on 19 shots before he was yanked early in the second period. Devan Dubnyk stepped in and stopped 21 of 23 shots the rest of the way.

Ryan Donato scored a goal and registered an assist for the Sharks. He has three goals and five points in seven contests.

Brandon Saad scored a pair of goals for Colorado. That gives him three goals and no assists in seven games.

Cale Makar assisted on three of the Avalanche’s seven goals. He’s up to eight helpers in seven contests.

Philipp Grubauer stopped 27 of 30 Sharks shots. He has a 4-2-0 record, 2.17 GAA, and .919 save percentage in six starts.

ANAHEIM 1 ARIZONA 0

John Gibson posted a 31-save shutout. It was his second shutout of the season, boosting him to a 3-1-2 record, 1.68 GAA, and .948 save percentage in six starts.

Conor Garland challenged Gibson with a team-high six shots. Garland has two goals on 27 shots this season.

Danton Heinen scored the only goal of the game and it was unassisted. It was his first goal and second point in seven games.

Ben Hutton made his season debut. The Ducks defenseman had a plus-one rating, one shot, four hits, and three blocks in 20:16 minutes of ice time.