National Hockey League roundup: Blackhawks build big lead, hold off Leafs

Toronto Maple Leafs centre Auston Matthews leads his team against the Philadelphia Flyers Friday night

Toronto Maple Leafs centre Auston Matthews leads his team against the Philadelphia Flyers Friday night

The two are scoring goals in bunches, and that didn't figure to change when the two met Wednesday night.

Maple Leafs: 6-3-1, averaging four goals, 7.4 assists, 2.5 penalties and 5.3 penalty minutes while giving up 3.4 goals per game with a.906 save percentage.

Toronto is tied for third in the league in scoring with 250 goals. Toronto averages just 2.8 per game, the least in the Eastern Conference.

The Blackhawks have been a dream for over bettors. However, the trend has been positive lately in a streaky campaign as they won for the 15th time in 21 games.

As for the Maple Leafs, they remain four points behind the Boston Bruins in the Atlantic Division, and they'll have to close that gap if they want to earn home ice advantage against Boston in the first round of the playoffs. The two kept over bettors happy on Wednesday, with Chicago winning, 5-4.

Otherwise, Toronto's recent struggles at the start of hockey games will be the least of their worries.

Brandon Saad had a goal and an assist, and Duncan Keith, Dominik Kahun and Alex DeBrincat also scored as Chicago jumped out to a 5-0 lead before holding on for the win. The over was achieved with just over 12 minutes to play when Austin Matthews scored the first of three Toronto goals. "As soon as they get one and certainly two, they get a little hope and the crowd gets going and they get some energy".

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"We just weren't ready to play again, came out flat-footed", Toronto centre Auston Matthews added. "But first and second [periods] I think we did some good stuff". Radko Gudas (3rd) and Shayne Gostisbehere (7th) opened a 5-2 lead with 6:33 left in the second period but the Flyers gave up back-to-back goals by Jake Muzzin and saw the lead shrink to 5-4 before the second intermission. "I was sweating pretty heavily after the game".

While it was primarily in the third period of an ugly game which.

Chicago and Toronto both have playoff concerns. The Philadelphia Flyers have allowed three or less goals in six of their last nine games.

The Maple Leafs were coming off a 6-2 home loss to Tampa Bay on Monday, and followed it up with a sloppy, uninspired performance through two periods. Captain Jonathan Toews said the team has to keep playing with that sense of urgency.

The Flyers went 0-for-2 on the power play, including one late in the second period and early into the third period that set a bad tone for the rest of the game.

"I tried that early if you remember, I tried to put the line back together, they weren't ready to go", said Babcock after practice in Vegas on February 13.

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