TORONTO — The Toronto Maple Leafs' three-game winning streak ended with a thud on Tuesday night.
Jeff Carter scored a pair of goals and Peter Budaj made 19 saves as the Los Angeles Kings trounced the Leafs 7-0 at the Air Canada Centre. Los Angeles busted out four goals in the second period, putting an end to Frederik Andersen's night.
Andersen gave up four goals on 26 shots and was pulled for the first time in a Leafs uniform. Jhonas Enroth stepped in to make 14 saves in relief.
Dustin Brown, Tanner Pearson, Tyler Toffoli, Kyle Clifford and Dwight King also scored for the Kings, who have now won three in a row. It's the second win streak of at least three games for Los Angeles this season.
Riding high after three wins in a row of their own, the Leafs got schooled by their more veteran opponent from puck-drop.
The Kings had the bulk of chances in the first, scoring 14 minutes into the period on Brown's second this year. Third line centre Nic Dowd did most of the dirty work, controlling the puck down low in Toronto's zone before finding Brown atop the left face-off circle.
His shot through a maze of moving bodies beat Andersen, who entered the evening with a .944 save percentage in his previous five starts. The Leafs had a chance to get the puck out initially but Martin Marincin's exit feed never quite reaching Ben Smith along the wall.
The league leader in shots per-game (34.5) heading into play, Toronto was held to just five shots (matching a season-low) in the first frame. The NHL's best shot suppression outfit, the Kings have given up less than 30 shots in 11 consecutive games. Overall shot attempts after 20 minutes, tellingly, were 30-8 favouring the visitors.
"They're a big, heavy team; they don't turn pucks over, they play right," Leafs coach Mike Babcock said of the Kings on Tuesday morning.
The Leafs came up with a couple decent chances early in the second. James van Riemsdyk was stopped by Budaj's blocker while efforts from the all-rookie line of Auston Matthews, William Nylander and Zach Hyman were also shut down.
Matthews, who had 10 points in his first six NHL games, has only one point in his last seven.
Following that initial push from the Leafs, the Kings sprung for a pair in less than two minutes, one from Pearson and another from Toffoli.
After the Leafs failed to come up with a puck in the neutral zone, Anze Kopitar scooped it up and found Pearson, who easily beat Andersen. Almost two minutes later, Toffoli finished off an odd-man rush for the 3-0 lead.
At that point, about five minutes into the period, the Kings had nearly as many goals (three) as the Leafs had shots (six).
Carter added two more goals for the Kings less than five minutes apart a short while later. The first again saw the visitors march easily into the Toronto zone, Carter's shot and goal ending Andersen's night.
Carter banked his second marker of the game and fifth this season off Enroth from behind the Leafs goal. He faced little resistance.
Toronto, at the other end, generated very little in the way of sustained offence, a rarity for a team that was averaging more than three goals per-game. Babcock shuffled his lines constantly hoping to find a spark, most notably pairing Matthews with fellow rookie Mitch Marner. Nylander, meanwhile, was dropped to a fourth line with Matt Martin and Smith.
The Kings added third period goals by Clifford and King. Derek Forbort had a career-high three assists.
The Leafs were outshot 43-19 overall. Tuesday marked just their second loss in six games at home (4-2-0).