TORONTO, ON -- Rookie William Nylander scored the game-winning goal and had two assists in the Toronto Maple Leafs’ 5-2 victory against the Calgary Flames at Air Canada Centre on Monday.
Nylander, who has two goals and three assists in his past two games, scored with a 40-foot slap shot 29 seconds into the third period to break a 2-2 tie.
Toronto (26-35-11) is 3-1-0 on its six-game homestand. Calgary (31-36-6) is 3-1-1 in its past five games.
The Maple Leafs opened the scoring at 11:27 of the first period following a mistake by Calgary goaltender Jonas Hiller, who, in an attempt to sweep the puck behind his net, passed it directly to Nylander. The 19-year-old spotted PA Parenteau alone in front and made a perfect pass, allowing Parenteau to score his 18th goal.
The Flames had a great opportunity to tie it at 15:26 when their second-leading scorer Sean Monahan was sent in alone cutting in off the left-wing boards and snapped a shot that Toronto goalie Jonathan Bernier snagged with his glove.
Calgary had a couple of quality scoring chances early in the second period, but Bernier continued to stymie them. Joe Colborne broke in alone and tried to deke to his backhand, but Bernier read the move perfectly. Then, with the Flames on a 5-on-3 advantage, Johnny Gaudreau slid the puck from one side of the net to Colborne on the other side, and Bernier got across in time to make the save.
The Flames finally solved Bernier at 10:25 of the second when former Maple Leafs forward Matt Stajan took a sharp-angled shot from the left wing that beat the Toronto goalie high to the short side for a short-handed goal. It was Stajan’s second short-handed goal of the season and Calgary’s sixth in the past six games.
The Maple Leafs restored their lead 4:01 later when, after winning a faceoff in the Flames zone, defenceman Jake Gardiner sent the puck into the slot to Nylander, who took a quick wrist shot that Zach Hyman tipped past Hiller for his fourth goal in 12 games.
The Flames tied it for the second time at 17:32 when defenceman Mark Giordano took a wrist shot from just inside the left point that banked in off Colborne. It was the 16th goal of the season for the former Maple Leafs forward.
After Nylander’s game-winner, Colin Greening and Josh Leivo scored into the empty net.
Nylander got the first three-point performance of his NHL career in his 12th game.