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game recap

Maple Leafs defeat Flames, extend point streak to seven

Pull away in third period on goals by Tavares, Matthews 2:21 apart

by Aaron Vickers / Independent Correspondent

Matthews scores goal No. 25

TOR@CGY: Marner sets up Matthews for 4-2 lead in 3rd

Auston Matthews buries Mitchell Marner's pass for his NHL-leading 25th goal of the season, extending the Maple Leafs' lead to 4-2 in the 3rd

  • 00:45 •

CALGARY -- John Tavares and Auston Matthews scored 2:21 apart in the third period for the Toronto Maple Leafs in a 4-2 win against the Calgary Flames at Scotiabank Saddledome on Sunday.

Tavares and Matthews each had a goal and an assist, William Nylander had two assists, and Alex Galchenyuk scored his first goal for the Maple Leafs (25-10-3), who have won three straight games and six of seven (6-0-1). Michael Hutchinson made 32 saves.

"It definitely wasn't our best," Tavares said. "I think we looked a little sluggish at times, but I really like the way we stuck with it and had to respond and find a way to play a harder type of game to really earn more pucks, win some more races, and really get to their net."

Video: TOR@CGY: Rielly kicks off scoring just 58 seconds in

Joakim Nordstrom scored his first goal for the Flames (16-20-3), who have lost three in a row and are 2-8-0 since a three-game winning streak that started when Darryl Sutter took over as coach March 11.

"In order to keep up, your team has to play at a pace and you have to be able to execute at that pace and you have to check at that pace, and for some of our players, that's difficult," Sutter said.

The teams will play again here Monday.

Tavares put Toronto up 3-2 at 6:55 of the third when the rebound from his shot went in off the skate of defenseman Noah Hanifin.

"We defended really well and played a quicker game in the third, which I think allowed us to take control," Tavares said. "There's going to be nights when you don't have your best, but you've got to work and compete and find ways to get your game going, and I think we did that."

Matthews scored his NHL-leading 25th goal from the slot off a pass by Mitchell Marner to make it 4-2 at 9:16.

"You've got to be able to make plays still when games are close in the third period," Calgary captain Mark Giordano said. "They had a push there. We have to have our own push, and we have to be confident to make plays under pressure when games are tight.

"A couple breakdowns. That's a good team over there. There's a reason they are where they are, and you could tell they were coming out with the mentality to win the game in the third. We have to have that same mentality when games are tied or you're down, whatever the case, you have to have that confidence."

Video: TOR@CGY: Giordano gets 500th point on Nordstrom goal

Morgan Rielly scored 58 seconds into the first period on the first shot on goal of the game to give the Maple Leafs a 1-0 lead.

Nordstrom scored to tie it 1-1 at 11:43. It was his 28th game since signing with the Flames as a free agent Oct. 19.

Andrew Mangiapane scored on a shot from the slot with 40 seconds left in the first to put Calgary ahead 2-1.

Galchenyuk tied it 2-2 with 2:52 remaining in the second period when he tapped in a cross-crease pass from Tavares. It was Galchenyuk's eighth game with Toronto after being acquired in a trade from the Carolina Hurricanes on Feb. 15, two days after Carolina got him in a trade from the Ottawa Senators.

"It means a lot," Galchenyuk said. "It definitely felt good getting the first one, and most importantly we got the win. It wasn't our best, but we stuck with it and found a way to win, which is great."

NOTES: The Maple Leafs are tied with the Carolina Hurricanes for the NHL lead with 13 road wins. ... Matthews is the third United States-born player in NHL history to score 25 goals in each of his first five seasons, joining Bobby Carpenter and Mike Modano. ... Giordano had an assist on Nordstrom's goal for his 500th NHL point. His is the ninth player and third defenseman in Flames history to reach the milestone. ... Calgary forward Sam Bennett played his 400th NHL game. … David Rittich made 26 saves for the Flames.

Video: Matthews, Tavares power Maple Leafs past Flames, 4-2

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