Nazem Kadri and Clarke MacArthur are forming quite a pair.
With the Toronto Maple Leafs first line largely missing in action for two periods, MacArthur and Kadri each had a goal and an assist to lead the Leafs to a 4-2 win Monday night over the New Jersey Devils.
Both extended their personal points streak to five games as Toronto won its second in a row.
Not to be outdone, James Reimer put in a solid performance in net, including a game-saving toe save on Travis Zajac in the third period as the Leafs moved into a fifth-place tie with the Ottawa Senators in the Eastern Conference.
The Kadri-MacArthur combo has contributed seven goals and eight assists since being paired together shortly after Matt Frattin got injured.
Frattin — who has seven goals in 10 games playing mostly with Kadri — is due to come back any day now. His return from minor surgery is the reason the Leafs sent Mike Brown to the Edmonton Oilers in a move that opened up a roster spot.
But Kadri and MacArthur have emerged lately as the team’s go-to players for offence. They were the first choice on a couple of power plays — with Mikhail Grabovski on the power play instead of Leo Komarov — who plays with them in five-on-five situations.
MacArthur’s go-ahead goal in the third came on the power play, the only extra-man goal the Leafs scored in the game.
Frattin’s return will give coach Randy Carlyle some options offensively. He could take Komarov’s spot on the line that would suddenly give the Leafs a ton of firepower on one unit.
Or Carlyle might move MacArthur around. He did audition briefly on the first line with Tyler Bozak and Kessel. That line — despite its goal Monday night — seems to be running on fumes and might benefit from a catalyst like MacArthur.