OTTAWA, Ontario (AP) — Justin Holl scored at 4:42 of overtime to give the Toronto Maple Leafs a 3-2 victory over the Ottawa Senators on Thursday night.
With the Senators poised to break the other way 3-on-1 with the clock ticking down in the extra period, Matthews knocked Thomas Chabot’s pass out of the air with his knee. He then sped the other way, driving hard to the net and nearly beating goalie Anton Forsberg before Mitch Marner grabbed the loose puck and fed Holl to bury his second goal of the season.
“He’s just elevated his game in so many ways,” Toronto forward Jason Spezza said about Matthews. “The great players have the sense to be big in the big moments. “Auston has that.”
Spezza and Ilya Mikheyev also scored for Toronto, and Jack Campbell made 29 saves.
Toronto, which beat Calgary 2-0 at home Saturday night to snap a 1-6-0 run, moved two points ahead of idle Winnipeg and Edmonton for the North Division lead.
Alex Formenton and Connor Brown scored for Ottawa. Forsberg, in his first appearance with the Senators after being claimed off waivers last week, stopped 38 shots.
“He was unbelievable,” Ottawa coach D.J. Smith said. “He gave us every opportunity to win.”
Playing its third game in four nights after beating Calgary on Monday and Wednesday, Ottawa had a five-game points streak end. That run started with a 4-3 home victory over Toronto on March 14.
“We battled hard,” Smith added. “To get to overtime’s pretty gutsy.”
Maple Leafs: Host Edmonton on Saturday and Monday nights.
Senators: Host Montreal on Tuesday night.