Auston Matthews, John Tavares lead Maple Leafs in 4-2 win over Flames

CALGARY — Auston Matthews and John Tavares each had a goal and an assist for the Toronto Maple Leafs in a 4-2 win Sunday over the host Calgary Flames.

Morgan Rielly and Alex Galchenyuk also scored for the Maple Leafs (25-10-3), who are 6-3-1 in their last 10 and continue to top the NHL’s North Division.

Toronto goaltender Michael Hutchinson made 32 saves for the win.

Joakim Nordstrom and Andrew Mangiapane scored for the Flames (16-20-3), who are 2-8-0 in their last 10 and 5-8-0 since Darryl Sutter took over as head coach.

David Rittich stopped 26-of-30 shots for the loss in the first of back-to-back games between the division rivals. The Flames are at home to the Maple Leafs again Monday.

Toronto leads the nine-game season series 5-2.

Calgary trails the Montreal Canadiens, holding down the fourth and final playoff spot in the division, by six points.

Toronto scored twice in the third period. The Leafs went ahead 3-2 on an own-goal by the Flames credited to Tavares at 6:55 of the third period. Matthews made it 4-2 at 9:16.

Matthews scored his league-leading 25th from close range. From the goal-line, Mitch Marner dished to his linemate driving the net for the insurance goal.

Rittich made initial saves on William Nylander and Tavares, but the rebound went off Noah Hanifin’s skate and into Calgary’s net. Hanifin swung his stick in frustration and broke it across Calgary’s post.

Galchenyuk scored his first as a Maple Leaf and evened the score at 2-2 late in the second period. The forward converted a goal-mouth feed from Tavares.

Mangiapane spotted the Flames a 2-1 lead with 39 seconds remaining in the opening period.

He pulled Mikael Backlund’s pass out of his skates and got an off-speed shot away that beat Hutchinson’s blocker.

The hosts drew even on Nordstrom’s goal at 12:43 of the first period. He tipped a Mark Giordano slapshot upstairs on Hutchinson for his first goal as a Flame.

When the Flames were unable to get out of their own zone cleanly, Rielly took advantage of a turnover and scored on Toronto’s first shot on net 58 seconds after puck drop.

The Leafs defenceman skated the puck to the far faceoff circle and beat Rittich with a wrist shot over the Calgary goaltender’s left shoulder.

Calgary is scheduled to host the Vancouver Canucks on Thursday and Saturday. The Canucks, however, were dealing with 16 players on the NHL’s pandemic protocol list Sunday.

Notes: Giordano’s assist on Nordstrom’s goal was his 500th career point. Al MacInnis (822) and Gary Suter (565) are the only other Flames defenceman to reach that milestone … With 297 career points, Rielly tied Bryan McCabe for sixth in all-time points among Maple Leafs defencemen … Flames forward Sam Bennett played his 400th career NHL game.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 4, 2021

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