TORONTO – Jonathan Bernier stopped all 26 shots he faced to pick up his first victory of the season as the Toronto Maple Leafs blew out the Los Angeles Kings 5-0 Saturday night at Air Canada Centre.
Bernier, who was 0-8-3 in his first 11 appearances, was helped out by a strong defensive game but also made some memorable saves.
Michael Grabner and Leo Komarov each scored twice in a dominant performance with linemate Nazem Kadri, and Byron Froese had his first NHL goal to provide the offensive support for the Leafs (11-13-7), who extended their point streak to five games – tying a season high.
Bernier got his first win since April 5 against his former team, which surprisingly started Jhonas Enroth (29 saves on 34 shots) over No. 1 goaltender Jonathan Quick.
Quick, the 2012 Conn Smythe Trophy winner, was coming off a 45-save shutout in Montreal.
No matter the opposing goalie, the Leafs played an even game against the Pacific Division-leading Kings (20-10-2), who were at the end of a six-game road trip.
Los Angeles coach Darryl Sutter thought his team looked tired after the morning skate, and the sluggish play continued into the game.
The Leafs gave Bernier an early lead when Kadri won an offensive zone faceoff and Komarov deflected a shot by Matt Hunwick past Enroth 5:31 into the first period.
Five minutes into the second, Bernier kept Toronto ahead with a Curtis Joseph-esque pad save to rob Marian Gaborik, who was responsible for several quality scoring chances. Later in the period, defenceman Roman Polak gave Bernier some help as he dived to knock the puck away from Kings captain Dustin Brown.
Bernier got a glove on a Gaborik shot in the third from in tight that then allowed Grabner to go down the ice for his first goal. He scored again and assisted on Komarov’s second of the night to put the game away.
Komarov improved his team-leading goal total to 13. Froese got his first in his 25th game as the rout was on.
Notes – The Leafs experienced a scare late in the second period when defenceman Morgan Rielly slid awkwardly into the boards. Rielly returned for the third period. … Coach Mike Babcock said the Leafs would recall an extra forward before the holiday roster freeze. They next play Monday at the Colorado Avalanche.