Associated Press Chicago Blackhawks goalie Anton Forsberg (31) looks on as Toronto Maple Leafs center Nazem Kadri (43) chases the puck during the second period of an NHL hockey game in Toronto on Monday, Oct. 9, 2017.
Monday, October 09, 2017 11:50 pm
Matthews scores in OT, Maple Leafs rally to beat Blackhawks
TORONTO – Auston Matthews had his own goalie taking pity on their opponent after his latest timely goal.
Matthews beat Anton Forsberg 3:43 into overtime to lift the Toronto Maple Leafs to a 4-3 comeback win against the Chicago Blackhawks on Monday night.
The 20-year-old Matthews had very little space to work with but ripped a wrist shot over Forsberg's glove for his second goal of the season.
"I think that puck's still sitting back up there," said Toronto netminder Fredrik Andersen. "Not a lot of guys can stop that puck in this league. Hell of a goal."
Matthews's goal came on a 2-on-1 and capped three in a row to erase Chicago's 3-1 lead.
"I just walked in and tried to fake a pass, get (Forsberg) leaning a bit and snuck it by him," Matthews said.
"I thought we showed a lot of poise being able to crawl back into it," he added. "As the game went on we got better and better and that's the way you want to play."
Matthews played much of the night matched up against Chicago's top line with Patrick Kane. Matthews finished with six shots on net and the winning goal while Kane, who entered with 22 points in 13 career games against Toronto, finished minus-three with one shot and no points.
"Auston was determined, he was playing head to head against Kane all night, did a real nice job," said Leafs coach Mike Babcock.
Nikita Zaitsev, Connor Brown and James van Riemsdyk also scored for the Maple Leafs, who have won their first three games.
Jan Rutta, Jonathan Toews and Richard Panik had goals for the Blackhawks.
Andersen made 18 saves for the win while Forsberg stopped 39 shots.
Outside of the opening three minutes, the first period belonged to the Blackhawks, and they went into the intermission up 2-0.
Rutta scored 3:46 into the game when he wheeled around the back of the net and tossed the puck out front, where it hit Toronto center Mitch Marner's stick and squeaked through Andersen and the post.
Eric Fehr had a great chance to tie it three minutes later, but was turned away by Forsberg, and Chicago went down the ice and doubled its advantage.
Toews made it 2-0 when he banged in a rebound over the left pad of Andersen with 12:53 to play in the first.
It could have been a three-goal edge for Chicago if Andersen didn't turn away Patrick Sharp on a breakaway late in the first.
It wasn't until the midway point of the second that Toronto picked up its pace and was awarded its first power-play opportunity after some sustained pressure by Matthews in the offensive zone.
The Leafs failed to capitalize on the man advantage, but Zaitsev put them on the board soon after, streaking in from the Blackhawks blue line and taking a pass from Brown before snapping the puck five-hole on Forsberg at 10:20.
Matthews nearly tied the game on a 2-on-1 rush five minutes later with a toe-drag into a wrist shot, but Forsberg stayed with him and got his right arm on the puck.
The final eight minutes of the second were filled with minor penalties and lots of 4-on-4 hockey, but no one was able to take advantage of the open ice.
Matthews had another good scoring chance before the period was through, but Forsberg was there again to stop him.
Toronto was behind 2-1 after 40 minutes despite outshooting Chicago 26-15.
"We lost a lot of momentum there, fortunate to come out of (the second) with the lead," said Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville.
"Second period they had 10 scoring chances so (Forsberg) did a good job keeping the lead for us."
Zach Hyman created a scoring chance for himself early in the third only to be turned aside by Forsberg.
Forsberg's play allowed the Blackhawks to restore their two-goal lead 7:52 into the third.
Panik took the puck off the end boards after it ricocheted in front from a point shot and slotted it into an empty net on the power play.
Leafs coach Mike Babcock started shuffling his lines late in the third and it paid off with two goals in less than three minutes.
First, Brown beat Forsberg with Leo Komarov setting the screen in front with seven minutes to go in regulation.
Then, van Riemsdyk tied the game on the power play, deflecting a Tyler Bozak shot past Forsberg with 4:18 remaining.
NOTES: Both clubs entered the night with a league-high 15 goals for in their first two games. ... Leafs defenseman Connor Carrick was replaced in the lineup by Andreas Borgman.
Blackhawks: Play at Montreal on Tuesday night.
Maple Leafs: Host New Jersey on Wednesday night.