James van Riemsdyk score SO winner, Leafs beat Predators 3-2

Friday, February 2, 2018, Vol. 42, No. 5

TORONTO (AP) — James van Riemsdyk and Frederik Andersen gave the Toronto Maple Leafs a full two points in the standings.

James van Riemsdyk scored in regulation and again in the seventh round of a shootout, and Anderson made 44 saves in the Maple Leafs' 3-2 victory over the Nashville Predators on Wednesday night.

Kasperi Kapanen also scored in regulation to help the Maple Leafs win for the sixth time in seven games. Andersen improved to 7-1-0 against Nashville.

"Freddie had to be good," Leafs coach Mike Babcock said. "Good for Freddie and good for us — we got the points."

Colton Sissons and Viktor Arvidsson scored for the Predators, and Pekka Rinne stopped 30 shots.

Van Riemsdyk opened the scoring in the first period after collecting a pass from Connor Brown along the side boards. Van Riemsdyk's long-range shot went off the stick of defenseman Alexei Emelin and past Rinne at 16:06.

The Leafs added to their lead in the second period. With Nashville on the power play, Kapanen stripped P.K Subban of the puck at the Predators' blue line for a breakaway. Craig Smith caught up to Kapanen, who initially blocked his path to the goal, but Kapanen spun around Smith and put a wrist shot through the legs of Rinne to give Toronto a 2-0 lead at 9:38.

"I was getting pretty tired there, so I just gave it all I got and lucky enough I just got him on my back, and it ended up the way it did," Kapanen said.

The Predators scored their first goal when Pontus Aberg's shot hit van Riemsdyk on the way to the net, and Sissons picked up the loose puck and beat an out-of-position Andersen at 18:10. Nashville tied it early in the third when Arvidsson picked up a rebound in front of Andersen and shot the puck through his legs.

"We want to be one of the best teams and we feel like as long as we play our system and play our game and compete every night and work we can play with anybody," Leafs defenseman Morgan Rielly said.


Predators: At Ottawa on Thursday night.

Maple Leafs: Host Ottawa on Saturday night.


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