Maple Leafs 4 Flames 1
CALGARY — Roman Polak scored his first of the season and Frederik Andersen made 19 saves as the Toronto Maple Leafs beat the Calgary Flames 4-1 on Tuesday night.
The game was scoreless until late in the first period when Polak gave the visitors a lead they would not relinquish with a fluke goal that pinballed off two Flames players on the way into the net.
Polak’s slapshot from the blue line first deflected off Mark Jankowski and then as it was going well wide of the Calgary net, it deflected off the knee of Travis Hamonic and straight past goaltender Mike Smith.
Nikita Zaitsev, Nazem Kadri and Leo Komarov, with an empty-netter, also scored for Toronto (16-9-1). The Leafs improve to 8-2-1 in their last 11 and are 4-0-1 in their last five road games. Their Western Canada road trip continues on Thursday in Edmonton.
Michael Stone scored for Calgary (13-10-1). The Flames were kicking off a four-game homestand.
Toronto extended its lead to 2-0 at 12:36 on another deflection off a Flames player. This time, it was Zaitsev’s 30-foot wrist shot that ticked off the stick of Mikael Backlund and slipped through Smith’s pads.
That would be all the offence Andersen would need on this night. The long-time adversary of the Flames from his time in Anaheim, improves his career mark to 6-0-1 against Calgary.
Andersen’s best stop came six minutes into the second with Calgary looking for the tying goal. Matthew Tkachuk was set-up in front on a pretty three-way passing play with Mikael Backlund and Micheal Ferland, but Andersen thrust out his right pad to get a toe on the dangerous chance.
Two minutes into the third period, the Leafs surged in front 3-0 when the puck caromed off a skate to Kadri in the slot and he ripped a shot past Smith for his 12th goal of the season.
Stone’s slapshot inside the far post at 5:29 ruined Andersen’s shutout, but that’s as close as the Flames would get.
Toronto had a 30-20 edge in shots.
Andersen improves to 14-7-1 on the season while Smith falls to 11-8-1.
Notes: The two teams meet again in Toronto on Dec. 6… Jaromir Jagr (lower body) was a late scratch for the Flames. He was replaced by Curtis Lazar. Missing his second game was Kris Versteeg (lower body)…. Andersen improves his career record to 5-0-1 against Calgary … Toronto improves to 13-4-0 when scoring first… The Flames have led after the first period only three times, the lowest in the league.