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Dylan Larkin scores power-play goal in OT to give Red Wings 5-4 win over Maple Leafs

TORONTO (AP) — Dylan Larkin scored on a power play 41 seconds into overtime and the Detroit Red Wings overcame Auston Matthews' 69th goal of the season to beat the Toronto Maple Leafs 5-4 on Saturday night.

Alex DeBrincat scored twice, David Perron had a goal and an assist, Simon Edvinsson also scored and J.T. Compher had two assists for Detroit, which led 4-1 after one period.

In the extra period, Larkin redirected a shot by Patrick Kane past Toronto goalie Ilya Samsonov with Max Domi off for high-sticking. It was his 33rd goal of the season.

“One of the biggest of my career,” Larkin said. “You can’t feel any better.”

James Reimer stopped 32 shots against his former team in his 500th NHL game.

“It’s special,” said Reimer, who was drafted by the Maple Leafs in 2006 and spent six seasons in Toronto. “Proud of the guys.”

Detroit is in a three-way tie with Washington and Philadelphia for the second wild card in the Eastern Conference. The Red Wings and Capitals have two games remaining, while the Flyers have one. Washington holds the tiebreaker and currently sits in the playoff spot.

Mitch Marner had a goal and two assists, John Tavares and Nick Robertson also scored, and Morgan Rielly had two assists for Toronto. Samsonov finished with 28 saves.

Matthews, who has scored 10 times in his last eight games, moved one away from becoming the first to player to hit 70 goals in a season in more than 30 years. He matched Mario Lemieux’s total of 69 in the 1995-96 season."

"My approach every game, every night is the same,” Matthews said. “I just try not to really overthink.”

Toronto’s loss locked the Maple Leafs into the Atlantic Division’s No. 3 spot with two road games left on their schedule.

Samsonov, who nearly got pulled after the first, stopped Lucas Raymond in close with nine minutes left in regulation and made another huge stop right before OT with Domi in the box.

“I felt our team was gonna be better,” Keefe said. “And I felt Sammy needed to be a part of that. Glad it worked out the way it did, because he was outstanding.”

Matthews had a couple of more chances on a late power play, and the crowd’s anticipation grew every time Matthews touched the puck in search of No. 70 with the score tied 4-4.

Down 4-1 after an ugly opening 20 minutes, Robertson scored his 14th at 9:04 of the second before Kane took a double-minor for high-sticking.

That set the stage for Matthews, who hit the post in the first, to fire No. 69 past Reimer before emphatically punching the air at 10:23 inside a deafening Scotiabank Arena.

Toronto coach Sheldon Keefe said he got caught up in the moment after Matthews' goal.

“Major distraction,” he said. “It doesn’t help us in what we’re trying to accomplish on the ice ... But it’s exciting. I get it.

“Especially when he gets to 69, you can see it’s growing, anticipating. Now you’re feeding it — I’m feeding it. I want it to happen, wanted it for the fans. ... I’m glad the game’s over.”

The sniper nearly got his 70th moments later on a break, but Reimer closed his pads at the last second.

The Maple Leafs got even withy 2:38 left in the middle period when Tavares snapped his 26th as Toronto erased a three-goal deficit in just over eight minutes against Reimer, who was drafted by Toronto in 2006 and played for the Maple Leafs from 2010-16.

Marner opened the scoring on a power play at 8:35 of the first when he buried his 26th of the season. William Nylander picked up the primary assist to snap an eight-game point drought.

Detroit tied it 1:27 later on a 2-on-1 when DeBrincat scored his 25th.

The Red Wings pushed ahead with 6:21 left in the period when Edvinsson finished off a give-and-go with Perron for his first.

DeBrincat made it 3-1 on a power play at 17:37 after Samsonov kicked a big rebound right onto the winger’s stick for his second of the night.

Perron then put Detroit up three with less than 20 seconds left in the period when he snuck his 16th past Samsonov at the near post.

UP NEXT

Red Wings: Host Montreal on Monday night in their regular season home finale.

Maple Leafs: At Florida on Tuesday night to open a season-ending two-game trip.

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AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/nhl

The Associated Press