Maple Leafs finally get rewarded for dominance with overtime win over Jets

Toronto Maple Leafs forward William Nylander (88) celebrates a goal against Winnipeg Jets. (Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports)
Toronto Maple Leafs forward William Nylander (88) celebrates a goal against Winnipeg Jets. (Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports) /

For a second consecutive game, the Toronto Maple Leafs were going to have to dig deep and make the most of any chances they had against a red-hot Connor Hellebuyck.

The Leafs were certainly trying whatever they could think of down 2-1 in the third period until John Tavares took matters into his own hands with some help from William Nylander.

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Toronto didn’t take the foot off the gas at any point in this game and needed to avoid a potential heartbreaking ending. Credit Hellebuyck for stealing a point for Winnipeg considering he had 38 shots thrown at him.

This was the second straight game the Leafs peppered the reigning Vezina Trophy winner with more than 35 shots on goal and it was looking like another frustrating night offensively for Toronto.

"“We did some good things and we have some things to improve on,” Hellebuyck said after the game. “I stole a lot of goals tonight.“I’m happy with my performance and I’m just looking forward to the next one.”"

That all changed however in overtime when some chaos in the Leafs net turned into a goal of the year candidate.

Toronto Maple Leafs: Auston Matthews shows off with nice overtime winner

The sequence that led to Auston Matthews’ goal in overtime was quite chaotic.

Let’s start with the fact that Paul Statsny slashed Morgan Rielly’s stick as they went to battle for the puck. How that wasn’t a penalty will remain a mystery but fortunately for the Leafs, it ended up working in their favour.

Credit Mitch Marner and Matthews for defending their zone while Rielly when to retrieve a new stick. This allowed Toronto to counter with a two-on-one that led to Matthews beating Hellebuyck with a backhander.

It was encouraging to see Matthews pull off the move considering the concerns about his wrist injury heading into the game. It certainly has had an impact on other areas of his game and hopefully, this is something he can eventually overcome.

After questions about his play following Tuesday’s loss, Frederik Andersen made some tough saves to help the Leafs earn two points. Hopefully, he can build off on it because the Leafs’ lead in the North Division has shrunk and there will need to put some separation between them and the Jets.

Related Story. Time for Andersen to step up his game. light

What were your thoughts on the Leafs’ win over the Jets? Can they continue to find success playing this style? Let us know in the comments below.