TORONTO (AP) — Michael Hutchinson stopped 33 shots for his first shutout in nearly a year, and the Toronto Maple Leafs beat the New York Islanders 3-0 Saturday night to push their point streak to 10 games.
Pierre Engvall, Auston Matthews and Zach Hyman scored for the Maple Leafs, who are 9-0-1 during their streak.
Semyon Varlamov had 20 saves for the Islanders, losers of five of their last seven (2-4-1).
Starting goalie Frederik Andersen has been the backbone of Toronto's streak, with a 6-0-1 record and .909 save percentage, but Maple Leafs coach Sheldon Keefe opted to start Hutchinson instead. The backup delivered with his first shutout since last Jan. 5 against Vancouver.
Keefe said before the game that if Hutchinson didn't get the start against the Islanders, there likely wouldn't be another chance to rest Andersen over a seven-game stretch before the NHL all-star break starting on Jan. 24.
It was Hutchinson's third-straight win, following a 4-1 victory over Detroit on Dec. 21 and a 5-4 overtime triumph at New Jersey on Dec. 27, both part of Toronto's point streak.
Nylander brought the home crowd to their feet with a breakaway on Varlamov 4:15 into the game. Nylander looked like he had the Islanders’ goalie beat but flipped the puck up too high, allowing Varlamov to knock it away from the net.
Hutchinson stepped up in the second, facing 16 shots in the period but keeping New York off the scoreboard. He made a highlight-reel glove save on Josh Bailey in the ninth minute of play, dropping into the butterfly but snagging the puck out of the air to keep the game scoreless.
Toronto got on the scoreboard with 6:35 left in the first when Kasperi Kapanen slid the puck through New York defenseman Noah Dobson's legs and then backhanded a pass to Engvall, who was skating into the slot and in a perfect position to shoot on Varlamov.
Matthews added to that lead 2:42 later, screening Varlamov as Mitch Marner sent in a long pass that the Maple Leafs’ center quickly rotated around to chip over the Islanders' goalie.
The Islanders continued to press — including a power play with 2:50 left in the second — but Hutchinson held firm.
Hutchinson's impressive start continued 1:29 into the third period, blocking a wrister by Anders Lee, kicking the rebound out with his pad and then smothering it with his glove.
Chants of "Hutchy" and "Let's go Hutch!" rained down on Hutchinson from the sections directly behind him in the lower bowl of Scotiabank Arena after he made another smart glove save on Noah Dobson with 11:43 left to play.
Less than three minutes later, Hutchinson robbed Mathew Barzal, falling on his backside but snagging a wrist shot out of the air to preserve his shutout.
Hyman added an empty-net goal with 2:08 left to play. After defenseman Justin Holl dug the puck out of the boards behind Toronto's goal, he passed to Matthews who sent it over to Marner, who in turn found a streaking Hyman.
NOTES: Nylander ended a five-game point streak in which he had six goals and five assists. ... Injured Maple Leafs forwards Andreas Johnsson (leg) and Trevor Moore (shoulder) were both wearing non-contact sweaters during the morning skate. ... Equipment manager Brian Papineau was honored for his 2,500th game behind Toronto's bench. ... Pop superstar Justin Bieber was in attendance. ... The Islanders are 0 for 9 on the power play the last five games.
Islanders: Host Colorado on Monday night at Nassau Coliseum, where they have lost four straight.
Maple Leafs: Host Edmonton on Monday night in the middle game of a three-game homestand.
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