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Auston Matthews, Maple Leafs win Centennial Classic

Center scores in overtime after Red Wings tie game with 1.1 seconds left

by Tim Campbell @TimNHL / NHL.com Staff Writer

TORONTO -- Auston Matthews scored with 1:20 left in overtime to lift the Toronto Maple Leafs to a fifth straight win, 5-4 against the Detroit Red Wings in the 2017 Scotiabank NHL Centennial Classic before 40,148 at Exhibition Stadium on Sunday.

Matthews chipped a backhand shot past goalie Jared Coreau for his second goal of the game after defenseman Jake Gardiner's shot went wide of the Red Wings net.

"Definitely one of the best moments in hockey I've ever experienced. It's pretty special," said Matthews, who has 20 goals in his rookie season. "For us to come out and get that win, it was a pretty exciting game and people were on the edge of their seats there in the third period and overtime. It was just really fun to experience this whole thing."

 

WATCH: All Centennial Classic highlights

 

The Maple Leafs (17-12-7) scored four straight goals in the third period after trailing 1-0 but required Matthews' overtime heroics after blowing a three-goal lead. Red Wings rookie forward Anthony Mantha scored his second goal of the game with 1.1 seconds remaining to tie it 4-4.

"What was great about tonight's game for us was … at playoff time in the NHL, you're always up one or down one, and you've got to love the duress, the grind, love digging in and knowing you can get it done," Toronto coach Mike Babcock said. "So that was a good opportunity for our team.

"We got a lesson here tonight and still won the game for our fans."

Leo Komarov, Mitchell Marner, Connor Brown and Matthews each scored to put the Maple Leafs ahead 4-1 with 7:55 remaining, but the Red Wings (16-16-5) rallied with three goals in 6:04.

Video: DET@TOR: Maple Leafs explode for four goals in 3rd

Defenseman Jonathan Ericsson made it 4-2 at 13:54 with his first goal of the season. Dylan Larkin pulled Detroit to within one at 4-3 with his 11th goal at 18:14.

Mantha's game-tying goal came on a goal-mouth scramble. It was upheld after video reviews to determine if the puck crossed the goal line before time expired and whether there was goaltender interference.

"At the end, we were just trying to put pucks towards the net and create chaos, and that's exactly what happened," said Mantha, who had an assist and has a six-game point streak (five goals, four assists).

It was Toronto's second win against Detroit in an outdoor game. The Maple Leafs defeated the Red Wings 3-2 in a shootout in the 2014 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic at Michigan Stadium.

Video: DET@TOR: Mantha lights lamp twice in Red Wings' loss

 

Goal of the game

Marner scored his ninth goal at 8:23 of the third to put the Maple Leafs ahead 2-1. He took the puck off the left-wing boards and cut into the slot before lifting a quick, high shot over Coreau.

Video: DET@TOR: Marner carves through defense for superb PPG

 

Save of the game

Coreau stopped Toronto defenseman Morgan Rielly on a breakaway at 2:57 of overtime.

 

Unsung performance of the game

Gardiner, who had two assists and a plus-3 rating, set up Toronto's first goal with an active play from his defense position, moving down the left boards to set up Komarov at the edge of the crease.

Video: DET@TOR: Komarov punches home Gardiner's great feed

 

Highlight of the game

After Gardiner shot wide to the left, Matthews found the puck behind the net and took a quick backhand shot for the winning goal before Red Wings defenseman Danny DeKeyser could check his stick.

Video: DET@TOR: Matthews wins the game with backhand in OT

 

They said it

"I've been talking about [Auston Matthews] since the World Cup, how good he is. I don't think anybody in the room is surprised by it. He's got a skill set that allows him to do things a lot of other people can't do. On top of that, he's got a good brain, he works hard, and he's been playing with good teammates. It's all kind of unfolding for him in a good way." -- Maple Leafs defenseman Morgan Rielly

 

"It's disappointing losing. It's really disappointing losing in overtime. It's probably disappointing after you've fought your way back to not win it, but at the end of the day, we found a way to a point. This league is about getting points, and we need to get them about as consistently as we can, so we need to take from this game, make sure we accentuate the positives, make sure we learn from the negatives." -- Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill

 

Video: DET@TOR: Larkin crashes the net, buries a rebound

 

Need to know

Detroit forward Henrik Zetterberg had three assists to extend his point streak to six games (one goal, seven assists) … The Centennial Classic was the first of four games between the Red Wings and Maple Leafs this season. … Toronto is 282-280-3 with 93 ties all-time against Detroit. … Forward Justin Abdelkader missed his 13th consecutive game with a knee injury, but he has been skating with the Red Wings. … Detroit, which was coming off a 3-2 overtime victory against the Ottawa Senators on Thursday, has not won two games in a row since Dec. 4 and 6 against the New York Islanders and Winnipeg Jets.

 

What's next

Maple Leafs: At the Washington Capitals on Tuesday (7 p.m. ET; TVA Sports, CSN-DC, TSN4, NHL.TV)

Red Wings: At the Anaheim Ducks on Wednesday (10:30 p.m. ET; FS-W, FS-D, NHL.TV)

 

Video: Matthews scores in OT to give Maple Leafs a 5-4 win

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