TORONTO -- — Auston Matthews scored his NHL-leading 21st goal of the season 59 seconds into overtime and the Toronto Maple Leafs beat the Winnipeg Jets 4-3 on Thursday night to snap a three-game losing streak.
“Elite talent,” Toronto coach Sheldon Keefe said. “He’s a star. That’s what they do.”
At the end of a long, frantic shift to start an extra period where the Maple Leafs were scrambling to hold on after Morgan Rielly broke his stick, Matthews took a pass from the defenseman heading the other way before selling shot and roofing a backhand on the stellar Connor Hellebuyck.
“There was a lot of chaos ... it happened so fast,” Matthews said. “We’d been out there for a while, they’d been out there for a while.”
Mitch Marner, William Nylander and Ilya Mikheyev scored in regulation to help Toronto regain the overall NHL lead at 19-7-2. Frederik Andersen made 23 saves, and Matthews and Marner each added an assist.
“We did some good things and we have some things to improve on,” Hellebuyck said. “I stole a lot of goals tonight. “I’m happy with my performance and I’m just looking forward to the next one.”