DALLAS (AP) — Mitchell Marner set up Toronto’s first two goals and the Maple Leafs kept up their high-scoring ways on the road to beat the Dallas Stars 5-3 on Wednesday night.
Marner’s fancy passes to Auston Matthews and Zach Hyman started Toronto on the way to its seventh win in the past eight road games.
“That was beautiful,” Matthews said of his goal. “Kind of caught (the Stars) going the other way, and obviously Mitch made a really nice pass and I just tried to get it up as quick as possible.”
Marner sent a backhand pass from the top of the right circle to Hyman in the slot.
“He’s got such good vision,” Hyman said. “I don’t know if he took a peek before and knew I was coming. I just got right into space and I think Auston made a great play before that, too.”
The Maple Leafs never trailed and set a franchise record with four or more goals in eight straight games away from home.
“It speaks to our ability to score goals and finish,” coach Sheldon Keefe said. “That is the strength of our team.”
Dallas interim coach Rick Bowness had a different perspective.
“If we don’t think about our net first and pay attention to details, we’re going to be giving up goals that we shouldn’t be giving up,” he said. “We gave them three goals, in our minds.”
Tyson Barrie and William Nylander also scored for Toronto. Andreas Johnsson added an empty-net goal with three seconds left, and Frederik Andersen made 31 saves.
The Maple Leafs moved closer to playoff position. They pulled even in points (61) with third-place Florida in the Atlantic Division and Carolina for the second wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference but have played more games than either team.
Alexander Radulov scored two goals and Denis Gurianov had one for the Stars. Ben Bishop stopped 29 shots.
Dallas has lost four of six.
Matthews, Barrie and Johnsson each had a goal and an assist for Toronto.
The Maple Leafs dominated time of possession in the first period, and Matthews finally scored at 12:18. The Stars failed to clear the puck, and Marner sent a pass from the right half-wall to Matthews at the left of the net. He put a wrist shot underneath the crossbar.
Dallas did not have a shot on goal during an 11-minute stretch that ended with a deflection by Andrej Sekera at 14:44. The Stars then rallied to tie the game at 17:21 when Gurianov split two defenders to skate into the slot and lift a wrist shot over Andersen.
Toronto took a 2-1 lead at 4:40 of the second period when Hyman scored off another nice pass by Marner.
“Coming through the neutral zone, I saw that the D was a little bit further back on me,” Marner said. “I saw (Hyman) kind of busting in with some gap and tried to get it to him. He made a great play.”
Barrie’s goal at 11:58 of the second followed a giveaway by Dallas defenseman Jamie Oleksiak, and Johnsson’s shot off the left post that went out to Barrie high in the right circle. His slap shot went through a screen and past Bishop.
Radulov pulled Dallas within one with 58 seconds left in the second and again on a deflection with 13:34 remaining in the game.
Nylander scored at 3:28 of the third period.
NOTES: LW Roope Hintz, tied with Radulov for the Dallas lead with 15 goals, was out because of an upper-body injury. Stars D Stephen Johns, back for two games after a 22-month absence, also didn’t play. … The Stars recognized Toronto C Jason Spezza with a big-board highlight video and PA announcement in his first game back after five seasons in Dallas. … The 36th goal for Matthews pulled him within one of the NHL leader, Boston’s David Pastrnak. … Dallas has failed to score in 12 power plays over the past four games.
Maple Leafs: Host the Ottawa Senators on Saturday.
Stars: Begin a three-game trip to the New York metropolitan area on Saturday at New Jersey.
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