Golden Knights pick up much-needed 6-2 win over Maple Leafs

Dan Hamilton-USA Today
The Golden Knights earned a crucial two points for their playoff push in Toronto on Tuesday night for just their third win in eight games.

The Golden Knights needed two points in Toronto on Tuesday night, and they got them with a 6-2 victory over the Maple Leafs. Jonathan Marchessault’s impressive three-point, two-goal performance led the way for Knights in the win. 

The defending champs, who have been reeling as of late, earned just their third win in the last eight outings in a crucial moment in the playoff race. Tuesday’s game was a rematch of last Thursday’s matchup in Vegas, where the Leafs took it to the Knights in a 7-3 win. It wasn’t a full scoreline reversal for the Knights but it was satisfying enough.

How it happened

The first half of the game went entirely scoreless, with the Golden Knights drawing first blood at the 9:11 mark in the second period on an Ivan Barbashev breakaway goal that snuck right by Leafs goalie Samsonov. The goal came 49 seconds before the exact midway point of the game, which also marked the last point in which the Leafs were not trailing.

They doubled their lead just over three minutes later. Rookie Mason Morelli tallied his second career NHL goal in his fifth game for the team to put them ahead 2-0. Sheldon Rempal tallied his first career NHL assist with the secondary feed on the goal as well. 

”Scoring here in Toronto is really cool,” Morelli said after the game. “(Brisson) said it’s the hockey Mecca, that’s a good way to put it I think. That’s why it’s pretty cool, and even a little cooler scoring here in front of a big crowd.”

Tyler Bertuzzi cut the deficit in half with 2:15 to go in the period with a wrist shot from around the faceoff circle with a shot that went right through Adin Hill’s legs. Jake McCabe and William Nylander registered assists on the goal.

The Golden Knights were fortunate enough to come up with a quick answer, quickly making it 4-1 in the waning moments of the period thanks to William Karlsson. The forward’s 20th goal of the year found the net after he fired it past Samsonov directly off a Marchessault feed. 

Jonathan Marchessault tallied the first of his two third period goals at 10:50 in the period by burying the rebound of William Karlsson’s deflected shot off the post. 

Former Golden Knight Ryan Reaves scored his third goal of the season for the Leafs with 5:25 remaining in the game. Reaves tallied his first assist of the season at T-Mobile Arena in last Thursday’s meeting, meaning two of his five points on the season have come against his former club. 

Marchessault salted the Leafs’ wound with an empty netter at the 18:35 mark before Nic Roy added the final insurance tally to set the final score at 6-2 in favor of the Knights.

Next game

The Golden Knights continue their road trip on Thursday in Boston as they are set to face the Bruins. Puck drop at the TD Garden is scheduled for 4 p.m.