Maple Leafs fall as Predators’ balanced offensive effort carries them to victory

Eeli Tolvanen, Filip Forsberg and Matt Duchene each had a goal and an assist to lead the Nashville Predators to a 6-3 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday night in Nashville, Tenn.

Tanner Jeannot, Mattias Ekholm and Yakov Trenin also scored for the Predators, who have won three of four. Juuse Saros made 38 saves, Roman Josi had three assists and Colton Sissons added two.

Mitchell Marner had two goals and an assist for the Maple Leafs. Auston Matthews added a goal and an assist, and Erik Kallgren made 28 saves for Toronto, which won its previous two games.

Forsberg’s goal at 12:11 of the third period gave him 33 on the season and 211 for his career, setting a Nashville record.

Jeannot scored first at 13:46 of the opening period.

Sissons carried the puck into the Toronto zone on the right side and cut to the middle. He found Jeannot skating on the left side and he beat Kallgren with a wrist shot high to the far side.

WATCH | Predators cruise past Maple Leafs:

Matthews scores 46th of season in Leafs’ loss to Predators

60 minutes ago

Duration 0:59

Auston Matthews scored in his return to Toronto’s lineup, but it wasn’t enough to avoid a 6-3 loss in Nashville. 0:59

Tolvanen made it 2-0 at 1:48 of the second when he redirected Jeremy Davies’ shot from the left point by Kallgren.

Marner halved the Nashville lead at 8:04 of the second.

The Predators regained a two-goal lead at 10:52 of the second when Ekholm connected on a one-timer from the right boards off a feed from Alexandre Carrier.

At 3:41 of the third, Matthews collected the rebound of his own shot and beat Saros just inside the left post to draw the Maple Leafs within a goal.

Duchene scored off a rebound of Forsberg’s shot at 14:09 of the third. The goal was Duchene’s 33rd of the season, setting a career high.

Marner scored again at 15:19 of the third and Trenin added an empty-net goal in the final minute.

Matthews played his first game since serving a two-game suspension for cross-checking Buffalo’s Rasmus Dahlin in the neck in last Sunday’s Heritage Classic. He scored his NHL-leading 46th goal of the season early in the third period Saturday. He has 11 points (nine goals, two assists) in his last six games.

Toronto right wing Ondrej Kase left early in the second period after a neutral-zone collision with Nashville’s Matt Duchene.

Later in the period, the Maple Leafs announced Kase would not return to the game for precautionary reasons.

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