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game recap

Kapanen's second goal helps Maple Leafs rally past Red Wings in OT

Tavares ties game with eight seconds left in third; Larkin extends point streak

by Dave McCarthy / NHL.com Correspondent

EA Sports OT Winner: Kapanen

EA Sports Overtime Winner: Kapanen gets his first

Kasperi Kapanen scored 1:53 into overtime, the first of his career, giving the Maple Leafs a 5-4 victory. Presented by EA Sports NHL 19

  • 01:11 •

TORONTO -- Kasperi Kapanen scored his second goal of the game 1:53 into overtime after John Tavares tied it with eight seconds left in the third period in the Toronto Maple Leafs' 5-4 win against the Detroit Red Wings at Scotiabank Arena on Sunday. 

"This group never gives up, that's for sure," said Kapanen, who won it for Toronto when his backhand shot from the slot found its way between Jonathan Bernier's skates for his 14th goal of the season. "We can go into a third period down and there's always a chance we're going to come back and win, so that's good to see."

Tavares and Morgan Rielly each had a goal and an assist, and Garret Sparks made 26 saves for the Maple Leafs (25-10-2), who have won four in a row.

 

[WATCH: All Red Wings vs. Maple Leafs highlights]

 

"I liked the resiliency when we need it; I wish we didn't have to use it, but it's 82 games and when you look at it at the end, the teams that win lots are the teams that come back and find ways to win," Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock said. "That's what good teams do. It's not perfect every night. You'd like it to be, but it's not."

Filip Hronek, Michael Rasmussen, Christoffer Ehn and Frans Nielsen scored and Dylan Larkin extended his point streak to 11 games for the Red Wings (15-17-4), who are 1-4-2 in their past seven. Bernier made 19 saves.

"I think we played a great road game against a good team," Nielsen said. "We had them on their heels. It's just a tough loss. It seems like when we play the top teams in the League, we really raise our own game. For some reason against the best teams, we usually play our best hockey too. We've got to find a way to do that all the time."

Nielsen put in a rebound from the slot after Tyler Bertuzzi deflected Niklas Kronwall's shot to give the Red Wings a 4-3 lead at 12:03 of the third period, but Tavares tied it at 19:52 when he deflected Jake Gardiner's shot from the blue line. 

"I saw the puck from the point, but there's no chance I can react to that tip so close," Bernier said. "I don't know; he reached pretty far for it. It was a [heck] of a tip."

Ehn scored his first NHL goal at 9:53 of the second period to put the Red Wings up 3-1.

The Maple Leafs got within one at 12:52 when Frederik Gauthier one-timed a pass from Par Lindholm in the slot to make it 3-2. The goal ended a 29-game drought for Gauthier dating back to Jan. 18 of last season. 

Video: DET@TOR: Lindholm, Gauthier connect for slick goal

"I think their goal really got us going," Tavares said. "Gauthier got his first one of the year, which is great to see. Lindholm made a [heck] of a play and (Trevor) Moore was flying, buzzing around. You could see he had great legs and that energy of being in his first game and got rewarded. Seeing that, that got a lot of us fired up on the bench."

Rielly tied it 3-3 1:08 later off a feed from Tavares, who has a five-game point streak. 

Video: DET@TOR: Rielly finishes Tavares' sweet feed

The Maple Leafs took a 1-0 lead 27 seconds into the first period when Kapanen put in Auston Matthews' rebound. 

Hronek tied it 1-1 at 3:45 when he intercepted Gardiner's clearing pass in the slot. 

Video: DET@TOR: Hronek provides quick response for Red Wings

Rasmussen put Detroit up 2-1 at 19:19 when he deflected Larkin's shot at the top of the goal crease during a delayed penalty.

"We didn't work as hard in the first however long you would say, but in the end we found a way to win so it's a good feeling going into Christmas," Babcock said. "The guys have done a good job. We've set ourselves up well through 37 games, now we've got to freshen up and get ready to go again."

 

They said it

"I thought we played a [heck] of a game. They got lucky; they got three tips on goals. I thought we played an awesome game. We deserved better. We know sometimes we play a bit harder against good teams, and we did tonight. I think we've just got to bring the intensity against teams that are behind us or even with us, we should dictate the game and I think we did a good job tonight." -- Red Wings goaltender Jonathan Bernier

 

"It's been good. I've been building off getting some chemistry with Auston Matthews and Patrick Marleau and I've been playing with Nazem Kadri as well. I don't know, just getting the opportunity to play a bit more than I did last year. It's just clicking for me right now, which is good to see." -- Maple Leafs forward Kasperi Kapanen 

 

Need to know

Red Wings defenseman Trevor Daley played in his 1000th NHL game and forward Luke Glendening played in his 400th. … Moore had an assist in his first NHL game. … Tavares (five goals, four assists) and Rielly 11 points (three goals, eight assists) have five-game point streaks.

 

What's next

Red Wings: At the Pittsburgh Penguins on Thursday (7 p.m. ET; ESPN+, ATTSN-PT, FS-D, NHL.TV)

Maple Leafs: At the Columbus Blue Jackets on Friday (7 p.m. ET; ESPN+ FS-O, SNO, NHL.TV)

Video: Maple Leafs rally late, top Red Wings in OT

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