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Auston Matthews’ OT winner lifts Leafs over Flames




Auston Matthews scored at 2:32 of overtime to give the Toronto Maple Leafs a 2-1 win over the Calgary Flames.

Matthews, who had a game-high 13 shot attempts and nine shots on goal, crossed with Morgan Rielly on the attack into the offensive zone, came down the right wing and fired a wrist shot between the legs of Flames netminder Daniel Vladar. It was Matthews’ eighth career overtime goal.

Great Goaltending

Jack Campbell turned in a superb performance in the Maple Leafs net, again. Campbell stopped 30 of 31 Flames shots for the victory. With the game on the line, Campbell scrambled to make a huge save on Andrew Mangiapane with 2:39 left in OT.

Flames rookie goaltender Daniel Vladar, acquired from the Boston Bruins in the offseason, was stellar in his third start for the Flames. Vladar stopped 35 of 37 shots, winning his third straight start. He made a pair of critical saves on point-blank chances in the first minute of overtime. Auston Matthews had a breakaway that Vladar stopped and when Matthews found Marner in the slot for a one-timer, Vladar stopped that, too.

Playing a Flames team that lost the night before in Montreal, Toronto controlled the game at times. However, they could not beat Vladar. That kept the game at a 0-0 tie through two periods.

Finally, some goals

Oliver Kylington put the Flames on the board off a give-and-go with Johnny Gaudreau at 4:55 of the third period. Kylington was flying up the ice. He beat Mitch Marner and Morgan Rielly then deked to the backhand to beat Jack Campbell. Kylington has been on a roll lately, picking up nine points (2 G, 7 A) in the past nine games.

Toronto continued to press and took advantage of a Calgary turnover to even the score.

Oliver Kylington’s failed clearing attempt went to Maple Leafs winger Alexander Kerfoot. Kerfoot passed across the ice to William Nylander, who one-timed a blast past Vladar to even the score. The shot was deflected in front by Ondrej Kase, who scored his third of the season at 12:54 of the third period.

Nylander, who has been Toronto’s most consistent threat all season, continued to create chances. He had nine shots attempts and five shots on goal to go with two assists. All in a night’s work. Nylander is Toronto’s leading scorer with 15 points (7 G, 8 A) in 15 games.

I wrote about Nylander’s increased shot output here.

While Toronto’s stars generated quite a few shots, the same could not be said of the Flames. Johnny Gaudreau, Elias Lindholm, and Sean Monahan all failed to register a shot on goal.

Toronto’s core four forwards – Auston Matthews, William Nylander, Mitch Marner, and John Tavares – have scored 17 of the Maple Leafs’ past 19 goals.

Captain John Tavares returned to the Maple Leafs lineup after missing their previous game, Wednesday at Philadelphia. He did not record a point but played 20:57.

The Maple Leafs have won seven of the past eight games and take a 9-5-1 record into Saturday’s game at Buffalo.

Takeaways and quotes coming soon.

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