TORONTO – Calle Jarnkrok scored his second goal of the game 46 seconds into overtime as the Toronto Maple Leafs picked up a wild 6-5 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Monday.
Mitch Marner had a goal and three assists for Toronto (5-4-2) in regulation. Auston Matthews added two goals and an assist. Matthew Knies, with a goal and two assists for the Leafs, who snapped a four-game slide (0-2-2). Morgan Rielly had two assists.
Jarnkrok scored his third goal of the season in the extra period after taking a pass from Rielly and redirecting the puck past Jonas Johansson.
Marner’s 15th career four-point game tied Frank Mahovlich for the second most in franchise history behind Darryl Sittler, who did it 26 times.
Ilya Samsonov allowed four goals on 12 shots in just over 15 minutes of action before getting the hook. Joseph Woll made 18 stops in relief to pick up the victory.
William Nylander picked up an assist on the winner to extend his franchise record point streak to start a season to 12 games.
Nikita Kucherov had two goals and two assists in the first period for Tampa (5-4-3). Victor Hedman added a goal and two assists, while Brayden Point and Brandon Hagel each had a goal and an assist. Johansson made 27 saves.
Down 4-3 through 40 minutes, the Leafs got even at 1:55 of the third when Jarnkrok buried the rebound of a Nick Robertson shot for his second of the campaign.
With the crowd at Scotiabank Arena still buzzing, Marner took a pass from Knies off the ensuing faceoff and snapped his fifth upstairs on Johansson just eight seconds later for a lead that seemed unlikely after a disastrous first.
The Leafs appeared to be in control late, but Hagel tied it 5-5 with his seventh with 2:26 remaining in regulation when Calvin de Haan’s point shot leaked through Woll.
Toronto jumped in front 1-0 at 3:42 into Monday’s game when Knies showed some terrific skill to score his third, but Hedman tied it off the rush with his third just 35 seconds later on a shot where Samsonov appeared to lose the angle.
Kucherov, who had five points in Saturday’s 6-4 victory over the Ottawa Senators, then fired a puck that somehow got through the Toronto netminder at 6:11.
Tampa went to the power play later in the period after the Leafs were assessed their fourth too many men on the ice penalty of the campaign, and Kucherov blasted a one-timer past Samsonov at 11:27 for a 3-1 lead.
The crowd gave its goalie a mock cheer on a long shot moments later, and Point’s power-play goal from the slot at 15:13 spelled the end of the night for Samsonov, who slammed his mask on the bench before the Leafs were booed off the ice at the intermission.
Toronto, which downed Tampa in last spring’s playoffs for the franchise’s first series victory in nearly two decades, got some life at 2:23 of the second when Matthews fired his 12th goal in 12 games with Knies screening Johansson, who has seen the majority of the work with Andrei Vasilevskiy out following back surgery.
Matthews then took a no-look, backhand pass from Knies and slid his 13th home at 5:42 before emphatically gesturing to the crowd.
The Leafs, who had their team toughness questioned in recent days following the lack of a physical response when defenceman Timothy Liljegren was injured last week against the Boston Bruins, continued to press before pushing ahead early in the third.
VASSY INCHING CLOSER
Tampa has mostly weathered the storm without Vasilevskiy, who had back surgery in late September.
Lightning head coach Jon Cooper said after Monday’s morning skate the 2019 Vézina Trophy winner remains on course to return to action later this month.
“Making great progress,” Cooper said. “He’d rather be doing more than he can right now, but the timeline is the same.”
Tampa has been backstopped by Johansson and third option Matt Tomkins. If the latter’s name sounds familiar, the 29-year-old from Edmonton posted a shutout and a .963 save percentage for Canada at the 2022 Beijing Olympics when the NHL stayed away because of COVID-19.
ROBERTSON RECALLED, BENOIT DEBUTS
The Leafs recalled Robertson from the AHL before Monday’s game. The 22-year-old forward had five goals and 11 points in nine appearances with the Toronto Marlies this season.
With defenceman Jake McCabe still working his way back from a groin injury, Simon Benoit dressed as Toronto’s sixth defenceman.
Lightning captain Steven Stamkos voiced his displeasure at the start of training camp about not getting a contract extension over the summer.
But the 33-year-old from nearby Markham, Ont., hasn’t let it impact his play with four goals and 11 points in nine games entering Monday.
“Whether you have eight years left on your deal or you’ve got half a year left on your deal … it doesn’t change my mindset,” Stamkos said. “Pretty easy thing for me to not think about.”
The Lightning visit Montreal on Tuesday, while the Leafs host Ottawa on Wednesday.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 6, 2023.
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