Tue, Jan 03, 2017 - Page 16 News List

Matthews leads Maple Leafs over Red Wings


Toronto Maple Leafs forward Auston Matthews, front, scores the winning goal in overtime off the glove of Detroit Red Wings goalie Jared Coreau, right, in the Centennial Classic NHL game at BMO Field in Toronto, Ontario, on Sunday.

Photo: Dan Hamilton-USA Today

Auston Matthews put on a show for the Toronto Maple Leafs in his first outdoor game.

Matthews scored in regulation and overtime to lead the Maple Leafs to a 5-4 victory over the Detroit Red Wings on Sunday in the Centennial Classic.

In a game delayed 30 minutes at the start because of sun on the ice at BMO Field in Toronto, Matthews won it with the 20th of his rookie season after the Maple Leafs blew a three-goal lead in the third period.

Toronto have won five straight to improve to 17-12-7.

After eluding Red Wings defender Danny DeKeyser, the 19-year-old Matthews flipped a quick backhander into the upper reaches of the cage at 3 minutes, 40 seconds of overtime.

“Definitely one of the best moments in hockey I’ve ever experienced for myself,” Matthews said. “It’s pretty special.”

Toronto won after Detroit’s Anthony Mantha tied it with 1.1 seconds left.

“To get a big goal like that, you don’t want to call it a storybook [ending], but you may as well, right?” Toronto defenseman Morgan Rielly said about Matthews’ first overtime goal.

Leo Komarov, Mitch Marner and Connor Brown also scored for Toronto, while Frederik Andersen made 33 saves.

Matthews has scored in four straight games and has 13 goals in the past 17.

“I don’t think there’s anybody in this room that’s surprised by it,” Rielly said. “He’s got a skill set that allows him to do things that a lot of other people can’t do, but on top of that, he’s got a good brain, he works hard and he’s been playing with good teammates. We have lots of faith that it’s going to continue to roll the way it is.”

Mantha scored twice for Detroit, Jonathan Ericsson and Dylan Larkin also added goals, while rookie Jared Coreau stopped 23 shots. The Red Wings dropped to 16-16-5.

“It’s the confidence,” Mantha said. “The chemistry is also coming along, the coaches having confidence in me also, gives me more ice time, so I just need to keep playing the way I am.”

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