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  • Associated Press Toronto defenseman Jake Gardiner and Detroit center Dylan Larkin collide during the third period of their game Wednesday in Toronto. The Maple Leafs won to improve to an NHL-best 6-1-0.

Thursday, October 19, 2017 1:00 am

NHL

Big 1st carries Leafs past Red Wings

Associated Press

TORONTO – Curtis McElhinney made 30 saves in his season debut and the Toronto Maple Leafs scored four times in the first period in a 6-3 victory over the Detroit Red Wings on Wednesday night.

Starting in place of Frederik Andersen, McElhinney stopped 15 shots in the third period to hold off the Red Wings.

Nazem Kadri, Zach Hyman, Auston Matthews, Connor Brown, Morgan Rielly and William Nylander scored to help Toronto improve to an NHL-best 6-1-0. The Maple Leafs were coming off a 2-0 victory at Washington on Tuesday night.

Henrik Zetterberg, Tomas Tatar, Jonathan Ericsson scored for the Red Wings, and Nick Jensen had three assists.

Jimmy Howard gave up three goals on four shots before getting yanked in favor of Petr Mrazek late in the first period. Toronto scored on its first two shots and four of its first five.

The Maple Leafs opened the scoring after catching the Red Wings on a bad line change. Kadri took a long pass from Ron Hainsey, walked in and beat Howard over the blocker at 5:56. Hyman scored 44 seconds later, tipping Rielly's shot past Howard.

Zetterberg put Detroit on the board with 7:50 to play in the first after getting McElhinney to bite on a fake before skating around the net and finishing on a wraparound with the netminder out of position.

Matt Martin didn't record Toronto's third shot on net until near the 14-minute mark of the period and it turned out to be the only save of the night for Howard.

Matthews chased Howard from the Wings net with 4:14 to play in the first, snapping a shot past him from almost the exact same spot Kadri did to open the scoring. Mrazek didn't fare any better, with Brown beating him through a screen on the first shot he faced — 40 seconds after Matthews' goal.

ST. LOUIS 5, CHICAGO 2: InSt. Louis, Jaden Schwartz had his third career hat trick to help St. Louis beat Chicago.

Schwartz has four goals and six assists this season and has at least one point in six of the Blues' first seven games. It was his 51st career multi-point game and fourth this season.

Vladimir Tarasenko had a goal and an assist, Kyle Brodziak also scored, and Jake Allen made 22 saves. The Blues snapped a two-game skid.