Curtis McElhinney leads Maple Leafs to 1-0 win over Oilers
Toronto Maple Leafs centre Patrick Marleau (12) congratulates goalie Curtis McElhinney (35) on his shutout win over the Edmonton Oilers following third period NHL hockey action in Toronto on Sunday, December 10, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Kyle Cicerella, The Canadian Press
Published Sunday, December 10, 2017 10:54PM EST
TORONTO - Backup Curtis McElhinney stopped 41 shots as the Toronto Maple Leafs shut out the Edmonton Oilers 1-0 on Sunday.
Zach Hyman scored for the Maple Leafs (20-10-1).
McElhinney was making just his fifth start of the season, giving starter Frederik Andersen a rest after he played in a 4-3 win Saturday night in Pittsburgh.
Laurent Brossoit made 22 saves for the Oilers (12-16-2), who beat the Canadiens 6-2 in Montreal a night earlier.
Toronto's Auston Matthews missed the game with an upper-body injury. Josh Leivo took his spot in the lineup.
It took Toronto only 34 seconds to open the scoring as Jake Gardiner's point shot made its way through traffic and was tipped by Hyman past Brossoit on the game's first shift. Gardiner was originally credited with the goal before it was switched to Hyman's sixth of the season.
The Leafs continued to push the pace of play and were outshooting the Oilers 9-2 halfway through the first.
McDavid used his speed to create Edmonton's first scoring chance as he beat defenceman Ron Hainsey wide on a 1-on-1, but as he cut across the crease McElhinney was there to poke away the puck with his stick.
Two minutes into the second period, Zack Kassian nearly tied the game from the slot after a Toronto turnover, but his shot hit the post and stayed out.
The Oilers looked like a different team in the early stages on the second and had 10 of the first 13 shots on net before the Leafs went to a power play with 11:31 to go in the period.
Despite being down a man, McDavid was able to take off from his own end on a short-handed breakaway only for McElhinney to close the five-hole and thwart the 20-year-old's deke attempt.
On the same power play, James van Riemsdyk hit the post when Brossoit was sprawled out and William Nylander put his hands up thinking he scored, except his bad-angled shot went through the crease behind the goalie.
Edmonton was handed a glorious chance to tie the game with 2:22 to go in the second, coming away with a full two-minute 5-on-3 after minor penalties were given to Roman Polak and Mitch Marner on the same play. But the Oilers spent much of it passing the puck around the outside of Toronto's triangle and any shot they created was turned aside by McElhinney.
Shots were 11-6 Leafs after 20 minutes and 25-18 Oilers after 40.
Edmonton kept Toronto hemmed in its zone for an entire penalty kill early in the third, but again couldn't score - with McDavid ringing the crossbar on one play.
The Oilers hit four posts in total.
Notes: Toronto FC was honoured pre-game after winning the MLS Cup on Saturday. ... Edmonton goaltender Cam Talbot missed his fifth game with an injury.