TORONTO – Auston Matthews capped a three-goal comeback on Friday as the Toronto Maple Leafs survived another scrambly start from goaltender Frederik Andersen.
Matthews's successes came at 15:00 on the third period after the line partner William Nylander made a phenomenal pass behind the net with one hand on his stick. Matthews did again at 2:21 for the eventual winner after James van Riemsdyk had made a hat-trick with a 6-on-5 goal.
The leaves pulled out a wild 7-6 victory over Philadelphia Flyers.
Andersen went into the night to draw in subsequent matches for the first time in his NHL career, but hanged there long enough to see his teammates overwhelming an opponent playing for the second night in a row.
Toronto passed the 50-shot for the second time this season and deleted a 5-2 deficit.
Jakub Voracek's opening goal came towards the end of the game after a lost faceoff by Matthews in the defensive. It has been a recurring trend too late for Toronto and Voracek had the puck at a tee when he hammered a shot past Andersen at 12:22.
A tip from Patrick Marleau on the power play took the sheet back to 1-1 and Matthews seemed to put them forward soon – just to get the goal back on video playback because Flyer's goalkeeper Brian Elliott had disappeared the left post before Matthews hit a recovery from mid-air .
The goals entered the second period.
James van Riemsdyk scored two against his previous team within eight minutes, tipped home a Radko Guda's point shot and shot in a loose puck that Andersen was slow to trace.
After Mitch Marner cut through the offensive and found Zach Hyman for his 17th season, Gudas made it 5-2 by entering and leaving. It came on another missing defensive zone faceoff for Matthews, who was tired and knocked out on a glaze.
Mike Babcock chose to keep Andersen in goal even though he had allowed 13 goals on his last 52 shots at that stage.
Jake Muzzin got Toronto back on the comeback track with goal 2:03 from each other, both beating Elliott across the right shoulder before the second break.
Martin Marincin tied the score 5-5 just before the three minute mark of the third period, which gave him his first NHL goal since November 11, 2016.