TORONTO — Mitch Marner scored twice and added an assist in a wild 59-second span midway through the third period as the Toronto Maple Leafs outscored the Carolina Hurricanes 8-6 on Monday at Scotiabank Arena.
The Toronto forward scored at 11:01 and assisted on Tyson Barrie’s game-tying goal at 11:54. A Carolina timeout didn’t stop the momentum as Marner scored six seconds later to the delight of the 19,176 in attendance for the holiday season matinee.
Pierre Engvall sealed the victory with an empty-netter. Marner, who had three assists, recorded a game-high five points.
Jason Spezza, William Nylander, Auston Matthews and John Tavares also scored for the Maple Leafs (20-14-4), who have won five straight games.
Martin Necas and Erik Haula had two goals apiece for the Hurricanes (22-13-2) while Brock McGinn and Andrei Svechnikov added singles.
Toronto scored three times before the game was six minutes old but the Hurricanes responded by scoring five straight goals to lead 5-3 after 40 minutes.
Toronto attacked from the start and was rewarded when Spezza scored 30 seconds into the game. Tavares fed the puck in front of the net and when Brett Pesce couldn’t clear it, Spezza chipped it in on the backhand.
Pesce’s tough period continued moments later when he got the stick up on Toronto forward Zach Hyman. The Maple Leafs took advantage with two goals on the ensuing double-minor penalty.
Nylander was left alone in the slot and he wired a wrist shot past Reimer at 3:40. The Toronto power-play unit clicked again at 5:10 when Spezza fed Tavares by the side of the net and he roofed it to make it 3-0.
Former Leafs goalie James Reimer was yanked after giving up three goals on seven shots. He was replaced by Petr Mrazek and the Hurricanes seemed to feed off the change.
McGinn had a shorthanded goal at 13:49 and Necas added a power-play marker at 19:35 with a nifty redirect of a Lucas Wallmark point shot.
Carolina continued to press early in the second period. Toronto goaltender Frederik Andersen made a couple of impressive stops as chants of “Fred-dy! Fred-dy!” thundered down.
The crowd was silenced later in the stanza as the Hurricanes struck for three goals in a 64-second span. A brutal Morgan Rielly giveaway led to a Necas game-tying goal at 15:09.
Necas assisted on Haula’s goal 20 seconds later and Svechnikov made it 5-3 at 16:13 to suck most of the air out of the building.
Early in the third period, Hyman found Matthews by the faceoff circle and the Toronto sniper buried a one-timer at 2:35 to cut the deficit. Haula responded with a one-timer of his own at 5:58 to restore the two-goal cushion.
Matthews made a highlight-reel cross-ice pass to set up Marner’s first goal. Engvall’s empty-netter came at 18:20.
Carolina outshot Toronto 41-39.
Former Maple Leafs defenceman Jake Gardiner, now with the Hurricanes, received a nice ovation after a video tribute was played early in the first period. Gardiner was making his return after spending eight NHL seasons in Toronto.
Canadian PGA Tour golfer Corey Conners was in attendance. … Tavares had three points in a period for the 10th time in his career. His personal best was a four-point effort for the New York Islanders against Tampa Bay in 2011. … Marner extended his point streak to eight games. … With school on winter break, thousands of kids took in the Next Gen Game.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 23, 2019.
Follow @GregoryStrongCP on Twitter.
Gregory Strong, The Canadian Press