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Woll wins in return to crease as Leafs hand Coyotes 14th straight loss

Kevin Sousa / National Hockey League / Getty

TORONTO (AP) — Auston Matthews scored his NHL-leading 53rd goal and the Toronto Maple Leafs topped Arizona 4-2 on Thursday night to send the Coyotes to their 14th straight loss.

Matthew Knies had a goal and an assist, Tyler Bertuzzi also scored and William Nylander added an empty-netter to go with two assists for Toronto. Joseph Woll made 30 saves in his return from a long injury absence.

“He looked great, really composed,” Matthews said of Woll. “Made up for lot of mistakes on our end. Looked really solid.”

Alex Kerfoot and Logan Cooley scored for Arizona, which dropped to 0-12-2 since its last victory on Jan. 22. Connor Ingram stopped 22 shots.

The Coyotes entered 10-0-2 over their 12 previous visits to Scotiabank Arena/Air Canada Centre, with Arizona’s last regulation loss in Toronto dating to Oct. 17, 2002 — the day Knies was born in Phoenix.

“I had no idea,” Knies said. “That’s a huge coincidence.”

The Maple Leafs, whose seven-game winning streak was snapped with Tuesday’s 6-2 home loss to Vegas, opened the scoring at 13:04 of the first period on Knies’ goal off an assist from Mitch Marner.

“We needed him,” Leafs coach Sheldon Keefe said of Marner. “Good that Mitch was able to chip in.”

Instead of shooting or making a move on Ingram, Marner fed the hard-charging Knies with a no-look, between-the-legs feed for the rookie to bury his 11th.

“I was screaming at him to take it on his own,” Knies said. “Made eye contact ... I didn’t know he was gonna go against my word like that.

“He’s got a pretty good hockey brain.”

Already playing without Timothy Liljegren (undisclosed injury) for a second consecutive game, the Leafs lost defenseman Mark Giordano in the first when he crashed into the end boards on a rush chance.

Back in the lineup after missing 35 games with a high ankle sprain suffered Dec. 7, Woll didn’t have much to do at the other end until he stretched to make a nice stop on Barrett Hayton, whose group was without leading scorer Clayton Keller (undisclosed) for a second straight game.

“I’ve really been missing playing,” Woll said. “To be able to play at our home building and to get a win like that was pretty nice.”

Toronto forward Ryan Reaves fought Liam O’Brien late in the period, with the Leafs tough guy scoring a takedown before pointing to his right biceps to a roaring crowd.

Bertuzzi doubled the lead 65 seconds into the second when he tipped William Lagesson’s point shot for his fifth goal in the last three games.

Matthews, who had gone two straight games without scoring after finding the back of the net 10 times in his five previous contests, scored his 53rd at 13:12 off a setup by Nylander.

Kerfoot, who played four seasons with Toronto from 2019 to 2023, made his return to Scotiabank Arena and scored his 10th on a short-handed breakaway at 14:39.

Cooley cut the deficit to 3-2 at 9:52 with his ninth.

“Our guys never quit,” Coyotes coach Andre Tourigny said. “Disappointing the way we started.”


Coyotes: At Ottawa to face the Senators on Friday night.

Maple Leafs: Host the New York Rangers on Saturday night.

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