TORONTO – The Toronto Maple Leafs won their third straight and handed the Vancouver Canucks their third straight loss.
However, the game will mostly be remembered for a third period that spun out of control.
Tyler Bozak had two goals and an assist, and Nazem Kadri, Mitch Marner, Nikita Soshnikov and Jake Gardiner also scored as Toronto beat Vancouver 6-3 Saturday night. Frederik Andersen stopped 23 of 26 shots before being replaced by Jhonas Enroth, who had three saves in his 5:08.
The last 14 minutes saw eight fighting majors and seven game misconducts.
“We as a team, we just wanted to close out a win,” Maple Leafs defenseman Morgan Rielly said. “That’s all we’re thinking about. We’re not going out there trying to do anything to cause it, we’re just playing our game and trying to win a hockey game.”
Kadri was kicked out for charging, Canucks goaltender Ryan Miller fought Maple Leafs tough guy Matt Martin, and a Canucks player was overheard by multiple reporters threatening an opposing player.
It all started when Rielly caught Canucks forward Jannik Hansen with an apparent blind-side hit six-plus minutes into the final period. Trailing 5-2 at that point, the Vancouver bench erupted when there was no penalty called. Their fire bubbled higher that same shift when Kadri drilled Daniel Sedin with a left shoulder to the head area just as Sedin was scoring the Canucks’ third goal.
Kadri, who scored the game’s first goal, was immediately charged by Hansen (dealt an instigator penalty), the two briefly dropping the gloves.
“Obviously it was a bad hit,” Miller said. “They kind of set the table and what do you expect when you make that kind of a play? We’re going to have to answer somehow.”
Vancouver sought that retribution with Derek Dorsett grabbing Leo Komarov for an unwanted fight off a faceoff.
Another fight followed seven seconds later with Rielly seeking payback for an apparent spear to the mid-section from Canucks winger Alex Burrows.
With five minutes left in regulation, Martin proceeded to throw rookie Troy Stecher to the ice and level the 22-year-old with a few shots. That was enough for Miller, who strode quickly from his crease and jumped the Leafs winger.