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article imageMaple Leafs beat Flames, youth leads way as Toronto wins 4 of 5

By Marcus Hondro     Mar 22, 2016 in Sports
The Toronto Maple Leafs may have in effect been out of the playoff race before the puck dropped on the 2015-16 season but of late they've looked like a contender. The Leafs latest win was well-earned and helps them continue an impressive run.
Maple Leafs win
Toronto rode the hot stick of rookie William Nylander — who can almost be called a rookie phenom now — whose goal and two assists lead them to a 5-2 win over the Calgary Flames in Hogtown.
Toronto has now won four or their last five and five of their last seven. It was the first 3 point night of his young NHL career for Nylander, who was born in Calgary though he grew up in the U.S. and Sweden. Nylander has five points in his last two games.
For a club that sits in last place in the NHL with a record of 26-35-11, last in goals scored, 22nd in goals against, this mini-run is impressive indeed. And with young players such as Nylander, who has four goals, seven points and is a plus 3 in his first 12 NHL games, Jake Gardiner, Morgan Reilly and Zach Hyman making large contributions, it has to have the Leaf Nation feeling better about the rebuild.
Third period goals
Toronto went into the third period tied 2-2 after Joe Colborne tied it late in period two for the Flames but Nylander, who set up Toronto's first two goals, took a Jake Gardiner pass and blasted a shot by Jonas Hiller just 29 seconds into the third period; the goal stood up for the winner.
Other Toronto goals came from P.A. Parenteau, Hyman, Colin Greening and Joshua Leivo, the 22-year-old rookie who got his fifth goal in 11 NHL games. Jonathan Bernier had another strong game in net.
The Leafs are threatening to drag themselves out of last when they'd do well to stay and have a stronger chance at the first-overall draft pick. But it is not likely the youth who are leading the charge are going to worry about that. They just wanna win.
And that is, of late, exactly what they're doing.
Scouts for Sweden who'll help set their roster for the World Championship at the end of the NHL season were in the stands. However, Leafs coach Mike Babcock has said the plan is for Nylander to compete in the AHL playoffs with the Toronto Marlies when the NHL regular-season ends.
More about Toronto Maple Leafs, leafs win, calgaray flames, NHL, william nylander
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