Jason Spezza had his eighth career hat trick and the Toronto Maple Leafs defeated the visiting Vancouver Canucks 7-3 Thursday night in the opener of a three-game series.
Auston Matthews added two goals for the Maple Leafs, Mitchell Marner had a goal and two assists and John Tavares scored his 350th career goal. William Nylander had three assists and Morgan Rielly, Jake Muzzin and Travis Boyd each had two assists.
J.T. Miller had a goal and an assist for Vancouver. Tanner Pearson and Bo Horvat also scored for the Canucks, who have lost three straight.
Frederik Andersen made 16 saves in the Toronto goal.
Thatcher Demko made 30 stops for Vancouver.
Toronto led 2-1 after the first period.
Matthews completed a solo rush by powering around Miller before scoring from deep in the left circle at 2:56. He has scored in five straight games.
Pearson jammed in his fourth goal from the right side of the net after a pass from behind the goal by Nils Hoglander at 6:24.
Spezza scored at 10:14 on a power play with a slap shot from the top of the right circle. Quinn Hughes was off for tripping.
Matthews scored his eighth of the season on Marner’s pass from behind the goal at 3:04 of the second period.
Horvat scored his sixth from the left circle 22 seconds later on a pass from Miller.
Spezza scored at 8:44 of the second on a pass from Nic Petan to complete a three-on-two rush.
Toronto finished the second period with a 5-2 lead after Tavares notched his fifth, tipping in Nylander’s pass at 17:56.
Spezza scored his fourth this season at 4:34 of the third period, skating around Alexander Edler before cutting in to the front of the net.
Miller scored his third this season at 8:14 of the third on a four-on-three power play.
Marner scored his sixth at 11:37 of the third and now has a six-game point streak (three goals, eight assists).
The Maple Leafs lost defenseman Travis Dermott with a leg injury early in the first period.
–Field Level Media