Coyotes fall to Maple Leafs, lose 14th straight game despite goals from Kerfoot and Cooley

Feb 29, 2024, 8:58 PM

Arizona Coyotes' Alex Kerfoot (15) scores against Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Joseph Woll, right...

Arizona Coyotes' Alex Kerfoot (15) scores against Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Joseph Woll, right, during second-period NHL hockey game action in Toronto, Thursday, Feb. 29, 2024. (Chris Young/The Canadian Press via AP)

(Chris Young/The Canadian Press via AP)

TORONTO (AP) — Auston Matthews scored his NHL-leading 53rd goal and the Toronto Maple Leafs topped Arizona 4-2 on Thursday night to send the Coyotes to their 14th straight loss.

Matthew Knies had a goal and an assist, Tyler Bertuzzi also scored and William Nylander added an empty-netter to go with two assists for Toronto. Joseph Woll made 30 saves in his return from a long injury absence.

Alex Kerfoot and Logan Cooley scored for Arizona, which dropped to 0-12-2 since its last victory on Jan. 22. Connor Ingram stopped 22 shots.

The Coyotes entered 10-0-2 over their 12 previous visits to Scotiabank Arena/Air Canada Centre, with Arizona’s last regulation loss in Toronto dating to Oct. 17, 2002 — the day Knies was born in Phoenix.

The Maple Leafs, whose seven-game winning streak was snapped with Tuesday’s 6-2 home loss to Vegas, opened the scoring at 13:04 of the first period off an assist from Mitch Marner.

Already playing without Timothy Liljegren (undisclosed injury) for a second consecutive game, the Leafs lost defenseman Mark Giordano in the first when he crashed into the end boards on a rush chance.

Back in the lineup after missing 35 games with a high ankle sprain suffered Dec. 7, Woll didn’t have much to do at the other end until he stretched to make a nice stop on Barrett Hayton, whose group was without leading scorer Clayton Keller (undisclosed) for a second straight game.

Toronto forward Ryan Reaves then fought Liam O’Brien late in the period, with the Leafs tough guy scoring a takedown before pointing to his right biceps to a roaring crowd.

Bertuzzi doubled the lead 65 seconds into the second when he tipped William Lagesson’s point shot for his fifth goal in the last three games.

Matthews, who had gone two straight games without scoring after finding the back of the net 10 times in his five previous contests, scored his 53rd at 13:12 off a setup by Nylander.

Kerfoot, who played four seasons with Toronto from 2019 to 2023, made his return to Scotiabank Arena and scored his 10th on a short-handed breakaway at 14:39.

Cooley cut the deficit to 3-2 at 9:52 with his ninth.


Leafs coach Sheldon Keefe, who got his 200th win Thursday, was fined $25,000 by the NHL for “unprofessional conduct directed at the officials that resulted in a game misconduct” in the closing minutes of Tuesday’s loss.


Coyotes: At Ottawa to face the Senators on Friday night.

Maple Leafs: Host the New York Rangers on Saturday night.

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