Van Riemsdyk has 3 goals to lift Leafs over Predators 6-2

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TORONTO (AP) — Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock rolled all four lines on Tuesday night.

He only really needed the top one, though.

James van Riemsdyk scored three goals, Tyler Bozak had four assists and Mitch Marner had a goal and set up two more to help Toronto beat the Nashville Predators 6-2.

Van Riemsdyk added an assist, and now he, Bozak and Marner are 1-2-3 in scoring for Toronto after combining for 11 points.

"Just the way we read off each other is getting better every game, the three of us have pretty good hockey sense," said van Riemsdyk, who leads the club with seven goals and 15 points in 16 games.

"I think the puck was following us as a line and I was fortunate for the bounces."

Leo Komarov and William Nylander also scored to help Toronto improve to 6-2-0 at home.

James Neal and Viktor Arvidsson scored for the Predators, who had their three-game winning streak halted.

Frederik Andersen made 32 saves for Toronto, and Marek Mazanec stopped 26-of-32 shots for Nashville.

Marner got it going with his sixth of the season, fighting off a check behind the net before curling out from the corner and beating a screened Mazanec 1:04 into the game.

The 19-year-old rookie, listed at six-feet and 170 pounds, isn't surprising his linemates with what he can do physically on the ice. He also has 15 points in 16 contests.

"You know how good he is on his edges, you see it in practice, when he does it in games it doesn't surprise you," van Riemsdyk said. "He's good with his body position to come up with pucks and obviously he's got a good stick, too.

"He's tenacious and doesn't back down from going into dirty areas."

Van Riemsdyk scored 13 minutes later by carrying the puck across the blue line and beating Mazanec glove side with a snap shot.

Neal scored nearly four minutes later off a cross-crease pass from Ryan Johansen, but van Riemsdyk restored the two-goal lead 7:52 into the second period. Bozak threw the puck toward the net from the corner and van Riemsdyk beat his man to deflect the puck over Mazanec's leg.

Arvidsson, denied by Andersen on a great chance in the first period, finally finished one of his many opportunities with 3:51 left in the second, beating Andersen low glove side on a breakaway.

Komarov scored 7:18 into the third by tipping Martin Marincin's point shot, then van Riemsdyk capped his hat trick with a shot off a faceoff with 6:22 left. Nylander fired in his goal about two minutes later.

Despite a lopsided score, Nashville coach Peter Laviolette thought his team deserved better.

"They got a quick one right off the bat, they got another one. I thought we had lots of chances to score goals," he said. "They had a couple goals that were seeing-eye goals.

"We took as many attempts if not more but it didn't find its way through. They capitalized on their opportunities."

NOTES: F Peter Holland and D Connor Carrick and Frank Corrado were scratches for the Leafs. ... Nashville G Pekka Rinne is day to day with a lower-body injury. ... Mazanec made his second start of the season after he was recalled from Milwaukee of the AHL on Monday.


Predators: At Ottawa on Thursday night in the middle game of a three-game trip.

Maple Leafs: Host Florida on Thursday night.

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