TORONTO — Max Domi scored in the fifth round of the shootout as the Toronto Maple Leafs survived a blown 4-1 lead to defeat the Calgary Flames 5-4 on Friday.
William Nylander, with two goals and an assist, John Tavares and Calle Jarnkrok also scored Toronto (7-5-2). Joseph Woll made 24 saves in regulation.
Nylander’s franchise-record point streak to open a campaign now stands at 14 games.
Connor Zary, Nikita Zadorov, A.J. Greer and Martin Pospisil replied for Calgary (4-7-2). Dan Vladar stopped 32 shots with No. 1 netminder Jacob Markstrom out day-to-day with an undisclosed injury. MacKenzie Weegar added two assists.
Domi scored the shootout winner upstairs on Vladar before Woll denied Dillon Dube to secure the extra point in the standings.
The Leafs entered with just one victory over their last six games (1-2-3), while the Flames hit the Scotiabank Arena ice coming off consecutive wins after dropping seven straight in regulation.
Jake McCabe (groin) returned to action for Toronto following a six-game absence, while fellow blueliner John Klingberg sat out with an undisclosed injury of his own.
Booed off the ice following Wednesday’s 6-3 home loss to the Ottawa Senators, the Leafs set a franchise record Saturday by allowing four or more goals for an eighth straight home game to start a season.
Toronto went up 3-1 just 66 seconds into the second period when Nylander, who’s enjoying the most dominant stretch of his career in a contract year, stole the puck from Flames defenceman Noah Hanifin on a Calgary power play and ripped his ninth goal of the season — and first in the NHL while short-handed.
The Leafs then made it 4-1 at 4:45 when Nylander found Tavares in front for his sixth.
Calgary got one back 48 seconds later when Zadorov blast his first before Greer brought the Flames within one at 4-3 on a deflection for his second at 12:22.
The Flames tied it at 3:22 of the third when Pospisil scored his second from Woll’s doorstep.
Nylander had a great chance to complete the hat trick a few minutes later, but could only look skyward after firing wide with Vladar out of position.
A chaotic overtime saw Vladar deny Nylander from in close and Woll stop Andrew Mangiapane on a breakaway before the shootout decided it.
The Leafs opened the scoring at 3:01 of Friday’s first when Nylander capitalized on a broken play to score his eighth.
Morgan Rielly then hit the post and Tavares was alone in front as Toronto pressed for more, but Calgary evened it up at 7:02 when Zary, who would also hit the post later in the period on a power play, chipped his own rebound over Woll for his second.
The home side went back in front at 8:18 when Jarnkrok scored his fourth by finishing off a pretty passing play with Domi and Nick Robertson.
The Hockey Hall of Fame’s class of 2023 was honoured before the game ahead of Monday’s induction ceremony.
This year’s crop includes Henrik Lundqvist, Caroline Ouellette, Tom Barrasso, Pierre Turgeon, Mike Vernon, Ken Hitchcock and the late Pierre Lacroix.
Vernon won the Stanley Cup with his hometown Flames in 1989. Calgary wore the netminder’s old No. 30 in warm-ups.
WOLF OF COWTOWN
Markstrom’s absence meant the Flames recalled Dustin Wolf from the American Hockey League’s Calgary Wranglers. The 22-year-old was named the AHL’s top goalie in both 2021-22 and 2022-23.
Wolf is 5-1-0 with a .924 save percentage and a 2.34 goals against average in six games this season in the minors. The Gilroy, Calif., product could make his second NHL start Saturday in Ottawa against the Senators.
The Swedish defenceman has struggled since signing in free agency over the summer with five assists and a minus-8 rating in 13 games.
Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe said Friday morning Klingberg has “been working through some injuries” and will be re-evaluated Saturday.
Nylander was pictured taking the subway to Wednesday’s game, but Auston Matthews prefers to drive.
“Usually like to give myself enough time to get to the rink,” the star centre said with a grin. “I don’t know if he’s in the same category.
“The weekday games, he’ll find himself on the subway every once in a while, but I don’t blame him. It’s probably better than sitting in traffic.”
The Leafs host the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday, while the Flames will be in Ottawa.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 10, 2023.
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Joshua Clipperton, The Canadian Press