TORONTO – Auston Matthews beat Anton Forsberg 3:43 into overtime to lift the Toronto Maple Leafs to a 4-3 comeback win against the Blackhawks on Monday night.
The 20-year-old Matthews had very little space to work with but ripped a wrist shot over Forsberg’s glove for his second goal of the season.
Matthews’ goal came on a 2-on-1 and capped three in a row to erase the Hawks’ 3-1 lead.
Matthews played much of the night matched up against the Hawks’ line with Patrick Kane. Matthews finished with six shots on net and the winning goal while Kane, who entered with
22 points in 13 career games against Toronto, finished minus-three with one shot and no points.
Nikita Zaitsev, Connor Brown and James van Riemsdyk also scored for the Maple Leafs, who have won their first three games.
Jan Rutta, Jonathan Toews and Richard Panik had goals for the Hawks.
Andersen made 18 saves for the win while Forsberg stopped 39 shots.
Outside of the opening three minutes, the first period belonged to the Hawks, who went into the intermission up, 2-0.
Rutta scored 3:46 into the game when he wheeled around the back of the net and tossed the puck out front, where it hit Toronto center Mitch Marner’s stick and squeaked through Andersen and the post.
Eric Fehr had a great chance to tie it three minutes later, but was turned away by Forsberg, and the Hawks went down the ice and doubled its advantage.
Toews made it 2-0 when he banged in a rebound over the left pad of Andersen with 12:53 to play in the first.
It could have been a three-goal edge for the Hawks if Andersen didn’t turn away Patrick Sharp on a breakaway late in the first.
It wasn’t until the midway point of the second that Toronto picked up its pace and was awarded its first power-play opportunity after some sustained pressure by Matthews in the offensive zone.
The Leafs failed to capitalize on the man advantage, but Zaitsev put them on the board soon after, streaking in from the Hawks’ blue line and taking a pass from Brown before snapping the puck five-hole on Forsberg at 10:20.
Matthews nearly tied the game on a 2-on-1 rush five minutes later with a toe-drag into a wrist shot, but Forsberg stayed with him and got his right arm on the puck.
The final eight minutes of the second were filled with minor penalties and lots of 4-on-4 hockey, but no one was able to take advantage of the open ice.
Matthews had another good scoring chance before the period was through, but Forsberg was there again to stop him.
Toronto was behind, 2-1, after 40 minutes despite outshooting the Hawks, 26-15.
“We lost a lot of momentum there, fortunate to come out of [the second] with the lead,” Hawks coach Joel Quenneville said.
“Second period they had 10 scoring chances so [Forsberg] did a good job keeping the lead for us.”