Nylander scores in OT, Leafs down Wild in Sweden

STOCKHOLM – William Nylander scored at 3:09 of overtime as the Toronto Maple Leafs survived a blown 3-1 lead in the third period to down the Minnesota Wild 4-3 on Sunday and pick up their fourth straight win.

The star attraction on home soil all week, the Swedish winger blew past Marcus Johansson with the teams playing 3-on-3 before sweeping his 12th goal of the season past Marc-Andre Fleury.

Nylander also picked up an assist in regulation to extend his franchise-record point streak to start a season to 17 games.

Morgan Rielly added a goal and two assists for Toronto (10-5-2) to conclude the NHL Global Series in Stockholm. Auston Matthews scored and set up another, while Matthew Knies provided the rest of the offence for the Leafs.

Mitch Marner set up two goals to become the fastest Leafs player to reach 400 career assists. Joseph Woll made 33 saves.

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Mats Zuccarello, with a goal and an assist, Jon Merrill and Jake Middleton replied for Minnesota (5-8-4). Fleury stopped 21 shots inside Avicii Arena. The Wild dropped their fifth straight game — and second in less than 24 hours.

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Toronto erased a two-goal deficit in the third period to beat the Detroit Red Wings 3-2 on Friday in Stockholm on the back of Nylander’s three-point performance, while Minnesota led Ottawa 1-0 through 40 minutes before falling 2-1 to the Senators in a shootout Saturday for their first point in four games (0-3-1).

Ottawa beat Detroit 5-4 in overtime Thursday to kick off the Global Series.

The Wild opened Sunday’s scoring at 2:37 of the first period when Merrill’s shot from distance fooled Woll for the defenceman’s first goal in 49 games.

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Leafs captain John Tavares then rattled the crossbar and Matthews hit the post on a power play.

Toronto got another man advantage and tied things when Matthews, who scored three times in against Minnesota in a 7-4 victory on Oct. 14, but was without a point in his last three games, deposited a Nylander rebound for his 14th of the campaign against the NHL’s 31st-ranked penalty kill at 12:43.

Knies put the Leafs ahead with 1:23 left in the period when he one-timed his fifth past Fleury, who allowed eight goals in an 8-3 home loss to the Dallas Stars on Nov. 12, off a Marner feed.

Minnesota took the play to Toronto in the second, but Woll was there at every turn, including on a Kirill Kaprizov breakaway.

The Leafs appeared to be in control when Rielly made it 3-1 at 4:22 of the final period with his third to snap a nine-game drought.

But Middleton replied at 6:10 with his third before Zuccarello scored his fifth in tight to tie it 3-3 at 8:42 after Brock Faber pinched down from the point to set the stage for Nylander’s heroics.


Marner’s 400 assists in 524 games makes him by far the fastest player to reach the milestone in franchise history. The previous mark was held by Leafs legend and Swedish hockey icon Borje Salming, who needed 600 contests.

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Toronto defenceman John Klingberg sat out for the third time in four games with an undisclosed injury.


The goaltender, who turns 39 on Nov. 28, remains four wins short of Patrick Roy’s 551 for second on the NHL’s all-time list. Fleury played two games in Stockholm with the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2008.


Mats Sundin performed the opening faceoff alongside his three children. The former Leafs captain was the first European selected first overall at the NHL draft when the Quebec Nordiques took the Swede in 1989.


Toronto returns to action Friday in Chicago against the Blackhawks, while Minnesota visits the Colorado Avalanche.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 19, 2023.

&copy 2023 The Canadian Press

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