TORONTO (AP) – Auston Matthews scored the shootout winner and the Toronto Maple Leafs scored three power-play goals Wednesday night in a 4-3 win over the Anaheim Ducks.
Mitch Marner, William Nylander and John Tavares all scored with the man advantage to give Toronto a two-goal lead in a mostly empty Scotiabank Arena due to COVID-19 restrictions.
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But a late goal in the second period by Jakob Silfverberg and another from Ducks striker Vinni Lettieri with 6:37 left in the third sent the game into overtime.
Sam Steel was also credited with an unfortunate goal for Anaheim, who played without head coach Dallas Eakins, who was out of the game due to COVID-19. Assistant coach Mike Stothers ran on the bench in his absence.
The win gave the Maple Leafs (26-10-3) three wins in their last five outings. The Ducks (21-16-8) lost for the first time in three games.
The three power-play goals gave the Maple Leafs 34 for the season. Only Colorado Avalanche (37) and St. Louis Blues, 35, had several innings on Wednesday.
With three days off since their last game, a 3-1 win over the New York Islanders, Toronto coach Sheldon Keefe mixed his lines against Anaheim.
He wanted more balance from his top three units, so Keefe placed Matthews, Marner and Nylander on separate lines.
Matthews centered on Michael Bunting and Ondrej Kase. Marner skated with Tavares and Ilya Mikheyev. Nylander was the right side with David Kampf and Alex Kerfoot.
But Toronto’s offensive clicked as all the big goal scorers jumped over the boards for man-advantage situations.
The Ducks arrived on a roll after opening their five-game road turn with impressive victories against defending Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning and the Boston Bruins.
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But the Maple Leafs had their run with Anaheim early, shooting the Ducks 31-11 through 40 minutes.
Anaheim managed to snatch an early 1-0 lead with a lucky goal. Maple Leafs quarterfielder Pierre Engvall tried to sweep the puck away from the Toronto fold, but his clearing attempt bounced off linebacker Jason Spezza and into the net.
Steel got the credit for the goal.
Ducks goalkeeper John Gibson, who is due for the NHL All-Star game next week with Anaheim striker Troy Terry, kept his team in front until the Maple Leafs struck for a couple of power-play goals in the first.
Gibson made an excellent left pad stop on Nylander, who failed to knock a rebound in from the end boards midway through the period.
Marner scored for the fourth game in a row with a ball-one-timer from 36 feet. Nylander converted Tavares’ pass from behind to make it 2-1.
The go-ahead goal was Nylanders 17th of the season in his 39th game, which matched his 17th goal in 51 games last season.
Tavares put the Maple Leafs ahead 3-1 with a 5-on-3 goal late in the second, slamming Marner’s pass in.
But when Silfverberg’s second penalty kick expired, he jumped out of the box and scored on a 3-on-1 rush.
NOTE: Toronto was minus defender Jake Muzzin (concussion), while the Ducks played without defender Josh Manson (COVID-19) and striker Sonny Milano (upper body).
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