Jack Campbell made 35 saves as the Toronto Maple Leafs downed the Edmonton Oilers 5-1 Tuesday night at Rogers Place.
The Oilers have lost six in a row. The last five have been at home.
“I think the most frustrating part about the whole thing is, if you look at the last three or four games, I think we played in stretches better than the teams we played against,” Oilers forward Colton Sceviour said after the game.
Read more: Edmonton Oilers lose fifth-consecutive game
The teams traded chances throughout the first period. Leon Draisaitl had a sure goal on his stick after taking a pass from Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, but his shot went through the crease and wide with Campbell out of position. The Leafs took the lead in the final minute of the first when Auston Matthews scored on the power play.
“Even when we’re playing well, we end up giving up a goal and end up being down and you can’t play from behind, especially down multiple goals against good teams,” Sceviour said.
The Oilers have allowed the first goal in 15 of their last 18 games.
It took the Leafs almost nine minutes to get their first shot on goal of the second period, but they made it count when Wayne Simmonds jammed the puck behind Mikko Koskinen. T.J. Brodie made it 3-0 when his point shot deflected in off Connor McDavid’s stick.
“As a group, we’ve got to be pros,” Sceviour said of the slumping Oilers. “A lot of guys in there have played a lot of hockey and we’ve got to understand that things will come and go and once we get out of it, we’ll be laughing about this stretch at a later day.”
The Oilers finally broke through 5:26 into the third when Colton Sceviour rapped in his first of the season. However, Morgan Rielly replied for the Leafs just 1:07 later. Matthews struck again late in the third.
“You get good momentum and you make one major error and it’s in the back of our net,” Warren Foegele said. “We just need to tighten up and be committed as a group to playing tighter in the (defensive) zone.”
Head coach Dave Tippett wasn’t on the bench for the what the Oilers called precautionary reasons. Associate coach Jim Playfair confirmed post-game Tippet tested positive for COVID-19. Earlier in the day, forward Ryan McLeod was placed in COVID protocol.
“I thought the players responded very well,” Playfair said of the Oilers after the game. “We’ll figure out a way to keep the momentum going within the coaching staff and obviously we’ll be in touch with (Tippett) daily and work with each other as much as we can.”
“It’s not ideal, but we’ve got a responsibility to find a way to get two points,” Playfair said.
The Oilers, 16-11, will host Columbus on Thursday.
–With files from 630 CHED’s Brenden Escott