Holland helps Coyotes past former Leafs team with shootout score
TORONTO (AP) — Peter Holland made himself right at home — at the expense of his former Toronto teammates.
Traded to Arizona last week, Holland scored the shootout winner in the Coyotes’ 3-2 victory over the Maple Leafs on Thursday night. He was the only one of the three shooters for each team to score in the tiebreaker.
“You can’t really script it much better than that, to get the game-winner,” Holland said. “I was joking with one of my friend’s dads who was in the tunnel after the game that I wished I’d done it in the overtime, but we’ll take it. It’s two points for our squad and it’s a good feeling.”
He beat Frederik Andersen in the third round of the shootout.
“I know the goalies on the Leafs watch some of the shootout tendencies and obviously going up against Freddie in practice and stuff like that I’m sure he’s well aware of one of my go-to moves, so I thought I had to change it up on him,” Holland said. “I think it just kind of squeaked through so kind of lucky, but it went in and that’s all that matters.”
Jordan Martinook and Oliver Ekman-Larsson scored in regulation for Arizona, and Mike Smith made 44 saves. The Coyotes have won three of their last four games to improve to 10-14-6.
Arizona product Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner scored for Toronto, and Andersen made 27 saves. The Leafs have lost four straight at home and are 12-11-6 overall.
The Leafs finally broke through on a power play with 8 seconds remaining in the first period after peppering Smith with shots through a one-sided frame.
Matthews fired from atop the right faceoff circle, with Tyler Bozak screening Smith. It was the eighth goal in the last 10 games for Matthews and his 14th of the season, upping his team lead in that category.
“It’s always fun to score goals,” Matthews said. “It’s what I like to do.”
He was especially excited before the game to face 40-year-old Shane Doan, the Coyotes’ long-time captain and one of Matthews’ favorite players as a kid.
“Auston’s a heck of a player,” Coyotes coach Dave Tippett said. “He’s going to do well for a long time.”
Toronto outshot Arizona 21-7 in the first, matching a season-high for shots in one period. The Coyotes entered the night yielding almost 36 shots per-game, the worst mark in the NHL.
The Coyotes had their best chance to score on the penalty kill after former Leaf Luke Schenn was called for tripping. Schenn’s one-time defensive partner, Jake Gardiner, strolled up the ice before dropping a pass in the neutral zone that found no one. Arizona winger Tobias Rieder scooped it up in the Leafs’ zone and went in alone on Andersen, his shot ultimately stopped.
The Coyotes got even after 70 seconds in the middle period when Martinook taking care of a rebound around the crease. Andersen stopped the first and second shots, including a strong right pad save on Radim Vrbata, but couldn’t get in front of Martinook’s attempt.
Arizona jumped in front 2-1 about 2 minutes later on a 5-on-3 power play. Ekman-Larsson fired a shot from atop the right faceoff circle with Martin Hanzal offering a screen in front. The Coyotes got the two-man advantage after Ekman-Larsson was crunched into the boards by Leafs rookie and top penalty killer Zach Hyman.
Marner evened it at 2 with 6:04 left in the second period. The 19-year-old, who entered the night without a goal in 11 games, whipped the shot by Smith’s glove for his eighth goal and 21st point this year.
All three Toronto shootout attempts drew iron.
“We hit a bar and two posts (in the shootout). In saying that, let’s be honest, we did tons of good things,” Toronto coach Mike Babcock said. “It says on this sheet that we directed 85 shots on net that way. It was a pretty good night.”
Notes: All three Toronto shootout attempts drew iron. The Maple Leafs are 0-5 in shootouts this season.
Coyotes: At Minnesota on Saturday night.
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