Matthews scores in OT to lift Leafs over Canadiens
MONTREAL (AP) — Auston Matthews once again brought out his best hockey when the spotlight shined brightest.
Matthews scored his second goal of the game 48 seconds into overtime to lift the Toronto Maple Leafs over the Montreal Canadiens 4-3 on Saturday night.
Matthews finished a 2-on-1 counterattack with William Nylander, beating goalie Carey Price with a shot from the left circle for his fifth goal in five games.
James van Riemsdyk and Patrick Marleau also scored for Toronto, which ended a 14-game winless run against Montreal dating to January 2014.
“It was a nice win for us, given the history,” Leafs goaltender Frederik Andersen said. “We wanted to change the narrative a little bit.”
Jeff Petry, Alex Galchenyuk and Jonathan Drouin scored for the Canadiens.
The Canadiens struck first as Petry took a drop pass from Drouin and fired a shot through traffic past Andersen at 2:19.
The Leafs replied with two goals in 44 seconds. A faceoff in the Montreal zone went to van Riemsdyk for a weak shot that went in off Petry, and then Matthews, while on an end-to-end rush with Nylander, grabbed a weak clearing attempt by Jordie Benn and beat and an off-balance Price with a shot under the crossbar at 8:16.
“For the most part we’ve always been like that, we’ll find each other,” Matthews said of Nylander. “The whole dynamic of our line has pretty much been with (Zach) Hyman and we just look for each other out there.”
Galchenyuk elected to shoot on a 2-on-1 on the power play for his first of the season. It was Montreal’s first goal on a man advantage of the season, ending an 0-for-14 drought.
“For a week now we’ve been talking about not being able to score — well we scored three tonight,” Canadiens coach Claude Julien said. “It’s a step in the right direction, but we gave up four, so we’re going to keep working.”
Drouin got his first goal as a Canadien 11:33 into the second when he redirected a diagonal pass from Karl Alzner, but Marleau tied it 1:10 later, lifting the puck just over the line after Price lost sight of it in the crease. The goal was confirmed by video review.
NOTES: Toronto has scored at least three goals in each of its five games this season. ... Leafs D Connor Carrick returned after missing two games with an upper body injury. ... Canadiens C Tomas Plekanec missed the morning skate with a flu, but was able to play.
Maple Leafs: Play at Washington on Tuesday night.
Canadiens: Play at San Jose on Tuesday night.
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