Nazem Kadri scored twice, including the eventual game-winner, to lead the Maple Leafs to a 4-2 win over their provincial rival Ottawa Senators at Canadian Tire Centre on Saturday.
The win extended the Leafs’ point streak on the road to ten games (8-0-2), setting a franchise record.
Goaltender Curtis McElhinney stopped 35 shots in his debut in a Leafs uniform after being claimed on waivers from Columbus earlier in the week.
“You’re always trying to figure out what they’re going to play like defensively, offensively and all that stuff,” McElhinney told reporters, regarding adjusting to his new teammates. “There is a little bit of sorting out but, for the most part, I felt pretty comfortable right off the bat.”
Tyler Bozak had the Leafs’ second goal of the game, converting a pass from Mitch Marner, who had just forced a turnover from Senators forward Bobby Ryan. For Marner, it was his 25th assist of the year, extending his league-leading total among rookies in that category.
Connor Brown rounded out the Leafs scoring, accepting a feed from Auston Matthews off a faceoff in the offensive zone.
“I think a big thing is you’re expecting to win and that’s a big difference,” said coach Mike Babcock, whose team sits in a playoff spot at the midway point of its season. “What you expect you often get because you do things to make that happen. We’re learning.”
The Leafs head to Air Canada Centre for a four-game homestand beginning Tuesday against Buffalo.