The Toronto Maple Leafs and Carolina Hurricanes were one of two games being played to kickoff the second half of the NHL season, in a fierce contest against two of the top teams in the NHL.
The Leafs edged out the Canes 4-3 in overtime, with all four Leaf goals coming from either Auston Matthews or Mitch Marner, who had the overtime winner.
Carolina and Toronto battled hard in what turned out to be a back and forth contest, but unfortunately the game was halted with 50 seconds to go in the third period when Auston Matthews went down with an apparent head injury.
As Matthews was battling with Hurricanes forward Nino Niderrieter going into the corner boards when he was in the line of an oncoming player who inadvertently caught the back of Matthews head with his knee.
As a result of the collision, Matthews was tended to by the team’s medical staff, but was able to get up and skate off the ice on his own, which eased some worries throughout Leaf Nation.
Matthews wasn’t scheduled to practice on Tuesday, and this was known by the team for a while as they wanted to give him a rest following the All-Star weekend, he will be monitored in the coming days.
Mitch Marner had two goals and three points on the night, putting his goal streak up to eight straight games, putting him 4 games back of Mario Lemieux’s 12 game streak in 1992. Just as a side note, there are four players with goal streaks longer than 12 games but three of them happened before the Great Depression so they don’t really count.
Marner now has 10 goals in his last eight games putting him up to 16 on the year, with 40 points to go with it.
Before Matthews went down with injury he also scored his 30th and 31st goals of the year, putting him in sole possession of third place in the League lead for goals, only two goals behind leader Chris Kreider.
With his 30 goals this year, that gives Matthews six consecutive seasons with 30 goals. The win over the Hurricanes gave the Leafs their 30th win of the season with a 30-10-3 record.