Matt Hunwick scored the game-winning goal in overtime to lead the Toronto Maple Leafs past the Montreal Canadiens 3-2 on Sunday night at the Air Canada Centre.
Positioned near the net, Hunwick rifled a pass from James van Riemsdyk past Mike Condon with just 40 seconds remaining in the extra period, scoring his third goal of the pre-season.
Overtime was needed after Daniel Carr scored the equalizer for the Canadiens (2-2-1) with just 18 seconds remaining in regulation.
Morgan Rielly put the Maple Leafs (2-1-1) up 2-1 at the 7:35 mark of the third period. Nikita Zaitsev had evened the score for Toronto at one apiece in the second.
Daniel Audette opened the scoring for the Canadiens in the first frame.
Sunday was a special night for the Maple Leaf faithful as it marked the NHL debut of Auston Matthews, the 2016 No. 1 overall pick. A crowd of 18,912 were in attendance to see the 19-year-old phenom don the blue and white for the first time.
Matthews, who recorded two shots, arrived late to training camp after competing for North America in the World Cup of Hockey.
With their team scoring sparingly, the crowd at the ACC grew restless breaking out into a “let’s go Blue Jays” chant in support of the city’s baseball team that earned the first wild-card spot in the American League today in their final game of the regular season.
Habs score first
Open in the centre of the Leafs zone, Audette took advantage of a set up from Nathan Beaulieu rocketing a one-timer past Jhonas Enroth.
After failing to capitalize in the first, Zaitsev finally broke free for the Leafs by scoring his first goal of the pre-season at 9:19 in the second period. The 24-year-old is trying to crack Toronto’s roster after spending the last four years playing in his homeland of Russia.
Rielly took a pass in the third from William Nylander deep toward the left side of Montreal’s net before launching the puck back towards the opposite side of Condon and over the goal line, giving Toronto the lead.
Canadiens’ Carr scored after receiving a pass from David Desharnais who found his way behind Toronto’s net, setting up the extra frame.
In 30 plus minutes of ice time for the Leafs, Enroth stopped seven of eight shots before being replaced by Garret Sparks in the second period. Sparks finished with 17 saves.
Condon stopped 28 shots for Montreal.
After winning their lone pre-season contest to be played in Toronto, the Leafs will have four games in six nights to close out exhibition.