Late goal lifts Toronto Maple Leafs over Detroit Red Wings 3-2
By BOB DUFF
DETROIT — To Jeff Blashill, the outcome came down to one simple fact.
“They made one more play than us,” the Detroit coach said.
To Toronto center Auston Matthews, it came down to persistence.
“We’ve got a lot of chances the last couple of games,” Matthews said. “We had some pretty good chances tonight, the puck just wouldn’t go in.
“It was nice to finally finish it off there with a half a minute left.”
Matthews scored with 30.2 seconds left to give the Maple Leafs a 3-2 victory over the Red Wings on Sunday night.
James van Riemsdyk and Mitch Marner also scored for Toronto, and Curtis McElhinney made 27 saves.
Anthony Mantha and Henrik Zetterberg scored for Detroit.
Matthews took William Nylander’s pass and snapped a high shot into the roof of the net from a sharp angle for his 27th goal of the season, but just his fourth winner.
“I just tried to play Nylander there,” Detroit goalie Petr Mrazek said. “I didn’t see Matthews. It was a nice shot by him. He put it in the top corner.”
It was the second time in eight games the Wings had surrendered the game-winning goal in the final minute of regulation. Florida’s Jonathan Huberdeau scored with 7.7 seconds left to give the Panthers a 3-2 verdict over the Wings on Feb. 3.