CALGARY — Tyler Ennis scored his first career hat trick on Monday night to lead the Toronto Maple Leafs to a 6-2 victory over the Calgary Flames.
Zach Hyman had two goals for Toronto (41-21-4) and Mitch Marner had a goal and two assists, giving him 10 points (three goals, seven assists) in the last four games.
Matthew Tkachuk and Derek Ryan scored for Calgary (41-18-7). The Flames have dropped two in a row on the heels of a seven-game winning streak. Their lead atop the Pacific Division remained three points over San Jose.
A scratch in Toronto’s previous game, Ennis drew back in and opened the scoring 9:50 into the first on a power play. He got the puck skating through the low slot and put a backhand into the top corner.
After scoring again late in the first on a fluky carom, the fourth line left-winger completed his big night, sending a shot from the sideboards that slipped past David Rittich for his 12th goal. Over 100 hats were thrown onto the ice by vocal jersey-wearing Leafs supporters.
The Leafs, who moved to within one point of second-place Boston in the Atlantic Division, continue their three-game Western Canada road trip on Wednesday in Vancouver.
Frederik Andersen made 35 saves to win his fifth in a row and improve to 32-13-3.
Rittich had 26 stops to fall to 22-6-5. It was just his second regulation loss since mid-December. He entered the game 11-1-4 in his last 16 decisions.
Brandishing a sharp glove hand, Andersen was excellent in the second period, drawing chants of “Freddy, Freddy” from Leafs supporters.
Early in the second he threw out his trapper to snag Mikael Backlund’s close-in shot. Late in the period, he stabbed a dangerous shot off the stick of Johnny Gaudreau.
Andersen’s blocker save off Austin Czarnik on a breakaway preserved the Leafs 1-0 lead. Toronto struck twice immediately after.
Ennis’ second, making it 2-0 at 17:15, was a fluke as his shot hit the skate of Rasmus Andersson in the slot and tumbled high in the air, eventually going over Rittich’s shoulder and landing in the net.
Then at 18:51, Backlund’s giveaway in the offensive zone enabled Marner to race away on a breakaway. Rittich stopped the initial shot, but the rebound went in off Hyman’s skate.
Toronto made it 4-0 at 4:11 of the second when Marner neatly set up Hyman’s second he night.
Calgary got on the scoreboard late in the second, needing just 10 seconds to convert their first power play of the night. Gaudreau’s wraparound bounced around the crease and crossed the line.
Notes: Ennis took the spot of Nic Petan, who scored a goal in his first game after being acquired from the Winnipeg Jets… Returning to the Flames line-ups after missing three games was defenceman Oliver Kylington (lower body).
Darren Haynes, The Canadian Press