With an increasingly small window to prove he's the man for the Leafs' fourth-line role, Moore needs every game from now until February 26 to be as good or better than what he produced against Columbus.
One night, it's the Auston Matthews line lighting up the opposition.
Nazem Kadri recorded his fourth career hat trick and a career-high five points as the Toronto Maple Leafs finished their five-game homestand sweep with a 6-3 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Wednesday.
The line of Kadri, Patrick Marleau and Mitch Marner combined for five goals and five assists.
"Mitchie's special, he's special offensively". "I used them together previous year and they were no good together".
"Obviously sometimes you're going to have to and rely on your defence to win games but when you're hot you've got to continue to go with the flow".
"That's Freddie's effort. Freddie was real good; we weren't very good for some reason", said Leafs coach Mike Babcock.
Kadri had a loose puck bounce his way three minutes later, and he sent a shot past Korpisalo on the glove side for his 19th goal and a 2-0 Toronto lead with 7:36 remaining.
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"That's Freddie's effort", Babcock said when asked about the Leafs' work ethic. "They had jump and we didn't".
Shots on Goal_Columbus 19-22-16_57. They were up 66-41 in shot attempts. It was the Leafs' ninth win in their last 10 games.
The Blue Jackets had 50 or more shots for the third straight game, making them the first team to accomplish the feat in the post-expansion era (since 1967-68).
"Passes are easier to defend than those throw-ins because throw-ins are random", Babcock said.
Columbus was in total control in Toronto's end, skating circles (literally) around the Leafs and torturing them with a strong cycle game. "It hits the guys in front and goes somewhere, the goalie doesn't feel it".
"I like the way we played", Columbus coach John Tortorella said.
"We were prepared for that, they've been throwing a lot of pucks on the net the last few games", said Andersen. "They found me. I just tried to get open and the puck seemed to find me".
"I had a clean view of most of the shots, and I think that was the key to withstand all of that", Andersen said. "They were both great passes".
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There was a standing ovation for Andersen in the third period and chants of "Freddie, Freddie!" after he made a point-blank toe save on Boone Jenner. The Blue Jackets hit 54 shots by the 14-minute mark of the third period but Andersen did not wilt.
As ready as they were for the onslaught of shots, the business of beating a team that was dominating them in the defensive zone became significantly harder when Jake Gardiner left the game after playing just 5:44. Had the Jackets forward scored, the game would have been tied 4-4.
The Leafs have a day off on Thursday, and Babcock wasn't sure whether Gardiner would be able to practise on Friday before the Leafs set off for weekend games in Pittsburgh and Detroit.
It was Kadri's first three-goal game at the ACC, after his first three hat tricks were on the road. The unit is also generating offence from their defence and has learned each other's tendencies quickly, as evidenced on the ideal backhand feed from Kadri to Marner on Joonas Korpisalo's doorstep in the second period. It was Moore's first goal since November 30, a drought of 22 games.
On Wednesday, even with the Leafs sporting a three-goal lead, van Riemsdyk saw only three shifts in the third period and played a season-low 10:10 on Wednesday.
Nazem Kadri had three goals and two assists, Frederik Andersen made a career-high 54 saves and surging Toronto beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 6-3 on Wednesday night. Kadri got his 21st of the season at 11:21, and Marleau added an empty-netter with 1:47 left. We're getting our D-men activated, they're getting shots too.
"We're moving our feet a lot in the zone. When you do that, it's tough on the other team's defensive plan".
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