Gar­diner scores OT win­ner for Leafs

The Hamilton Spectator - - SPORTS - JONAS SIEGEL

TORONTO — Jake Gar­diner scored in over­time Tues­day night as Aus­ton Matthews’ Toronto Maple Leafs pre­vailed, 5-4, over Pa­trik Laine’s Win­nipeg Jets.

Matthews had three as­sists in the win and Leo Ko­marov scored twice for Toronto, which jumped back into con­trol of the Na­tional Hockey League’s fi­nal East­ern Con­fer­ence wild-card spot.

Nazem Kadri also scored for the Maple Leafs, Wil­liam Ny­lan­der posted two points with a goal and Fred­erik An­der­sen made 16 saves, yield­ing four goals to the Jets (28-29-6).

Laine scored twice for Win­nipeg, be­com­ing the first rookie in fran­chise his­tory to record 30 goals in a sea­son. Mark Scheifele chipped in with two as­sists. Niko­laj Eh­lers and Bryan Lit­tle also scored.

Con­nor Helle­buyck gave up five goals on 37 shots.

The first and sec­ond picks of the 2016 draft, Matthews and Laine had top billing for their sec­ond NHL matchup and they de­liv­ered early (and again later).

Ko­marov opened the scor­ing 62 sec­onds into the first when his shot from just above the goal line in the left cor­ner snuck be­tween the pads of Helle­buyck. Then it was Laine. Af­ter mis­com­mu­ni­ca­tion be­tween Leafs in the de­fen­sive zone, Scheifele gained con­trol of the puck along the wall and fired it to the weak­side where Laine lay in wait. He took the pass and whis­tled it al­most in­stan­ta­neously into the back of the net for his 29th goal this year.

Leafs de­fence­man Nikita Zait­sev lin­gered close to Laine on the play, but not close enough to pre­vent the 18-year-old ris­ing star’s rapid re­lease.

Matthews had a chance to score a few min­utes later, but was un­able to stuff a re­bound around the right pad of the Jets goal­tender.

The out­stand­ing young Leafs rookie later drew an of­fen­sive zone penalty on Win­nipeg’s Dustin Byfuglien.

CAR­LOS OSORIO, TORONTO STAR

Aus­ton Matthews chases a loose puck in the first pe­riod against the Win­nipeg Jets in Toronto on Tues­day. Matthews had three as­sists and fel­low rookie Pa­trik Laine of the Jets two goals, as the Leafs won on the score­board.

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