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Maple Leafs hold off Edmonton Oilers for 4-1 win

Toronto Maple Leafs goalie Frederik Andersen (31) makes the save as Edmonton Oilers' Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (93) tries to screen during second period NHL action in Edmonton, Alta., on Saturday December 14, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson.
Toronto Maple Leafs goalie Frederik Andersen (31) makes the save as Edmonton Oilers' Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (93) tries to screen during second period NHL action in Edmonton, Alta., on Saturday December 14, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

In game that was billed as a battle of some of the NHL’s top offensive players, it was the depth players who made the difference as the Toronto Maple Leafs beat the Edmonton Oilers 4-1 Saturday night at Rogers Place.

The Oilers are 0-3-1 in their last four games.

Mikko Koskinen made a sprawling leg save on Pierre Engvall four-and-a-half minutes into the game, but seconds later Engvall set up Alexander Kerfoot in front. His rising shot made it 1-0 Toronto.

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“I thought we had a pretty good start,” McDavid said. “They obviously get one fairly early and we’re behind and chasing it, but I thought we did a good job competing. We worked hard.”

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Frederik Gauthier appeared to have a tap in goal later in the first, but he misdirected the puck wide though he was mere inches from the goal line.

READ MORE: Edmonton Oilers rally in third but lose to Minnesota Wild

In the second period, the Leafs kept the puck alive in front, allowing Kerfoot to nudge the puck to Ilya Mikheyev for an easy goal.

“We’ve got to see the positive in things,” Klefbom said. “Obviously Toronto is a good team and they play well here. That’s in the past right now. It’s going to be tough for us mentally and physically going into St. Louis and Dallas but we’ve got to come through this and come together as a team.”

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With Cody Ceci in the box in the third for shooting the puck over the glass, Alex Chiasson put the Oilers on the board. He shovelled the puck past Frederik Andersen for his fourth of the season.

With 6:11 left, Gauthier took advantage of some shoddy defensive coverage by the Oilers to make it 3-1 Toronto. Mitch Marner added an empty net goal on a late Leafs power play.

“Losing four in a row is not good enough,” McDavid said. “We’ve got to find a way to put some wins together here. This is an opportunity for our group to go play two really good teams and see where we’re at.”

The Oilers, 18-13-4, will play in Dallas on Monday.

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–With fies from 630 CHED’s Brenden Escott and Scott Johnston