December 29, 2016
Greg Boysen

For the second straight game, the Toronto Maple Leafs blew a 2-0 lead, but still skated away with two points.  This time the Leafs won in overtime as Antoine Bibeau picked up his first career NHL win in goal.

Auston Matthews opened the scoring with his team high 18th goal of the season at 14:46 of the first period.  Matthews was able to get to a loose puck in the slot and fire a wrist shot between the legs of Andrei Vasilevskiy.  Zach Hyman was credited with the lone assist.

Tyler Bozak doubled the Maple Leafs lead at 9:26 of the second period with his seventh goal of the year.  Bozak battled at the front of the net to get to a bouncing rebound off of a James van Riemsdyk shot and put it into the Tampa net.  Nikita Zaitsev’s shot from the point that did not get through was good enough to get credited with the secondary assist.

Tampa Bay got on the board at the 12:12 mark as Brian Boyle showed off his stickhandling skills to get to the right faceoff dot and roof a snap shot over Antoine Bibeau. 

Ondrej Palat tied up the game just over five minutes later as he beat Bibeau through the five-hole after Connor Carrick’s egregious turnover in front of the net.

The game headed to 3-on-3 overtime after both goaltenders combined for 21 third period shots. Two minutes into overtime, Valterri Filppula was sent off for goaltender interference.  Nazem Kadri was able to cash in on the 4-on-3 advantage for the game winner as he camped out in front of the net and slammed home a feed from William Nylander.  Matthews picked up the secondary assist on Kadri’s 13th goal of the year.

The Leafs have now five straight road games, something they have not accomplished since the 2010-11 season.  The Leafs return home to Toronto for Sunday’s Centennial Classic versus the Detroit Red Wings. 

Image Credit: AP