Spezza gets hat trick for Maple Leafs in win against Canucks


TORONTO — Jason Spezza got his first hat trick in nearly five years for the Toronto Maple Leafs in a 7-3 win against the Vancouver Canucks at Scotiabank Arena on Thursday.

Spezza completed the hat trick to put Toronto ahead 6-2 at 4:34 of the third period when he cut around Alexander Edler in the left circle and tucked in a shot past Thatcher Demko‘s outstretched left pad. It is his eighth three-goal game in the NHL and first since April 9, 2016, when he played for the Dallas Stars.

Mitchell Marner had a goal and two assists, Auston Matthews scored twice, and William Nylander had three assists for the Maple Leafs (8-2-1), who are 5-0-1 in their past six games. Frederik Andersen made 16 saves.

J.T. Miller had a goal and an assist, and Demko made 30 saves for the Canucks (6-8-0), who lost for the third time in four nights.

Miller cut it to 6-3 at 8:14 of the third, but Marner scored blocker side on Demko at 11:37 for the 7-3 final.

Matthews gave Toronto a 1-0 lead at 2:56 of the first period when he cut around Miller and scored five-hole on Demko from in close. It was Matthews’ sixth straight game with a goal and also extended his point streak to eight games (eight goals, three assists).

Tanner Pearson tied it 1-1 at 6:24 when he jammed in a rebound at the side of the net, but Spezza made it 2-1 with a power play goal at 10:15.

Matthews extended the lead to 3-1 at 3:04 of the second period when he scored from a sharp angle off a pass from Marner from behind the net.

Horvat scored 22 seconds later to cut it to 3-2.

Spezza took a pass from Nic Petan and shot over Demko’s glove at 8:44 to make it 4-2, and John Tavares scored his first even-strength goal of the season to push the lead to 5-2 at 17:56. 

Maple Leafs defenseman Travis Dermott left the game with a lower-body injury at 2:21 of the first period after appearing to injure his left leg in a collision with Tyler Motte along the boards.

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