Mitch Marner and William Nylander scored 20 seconds apart with less than nine minutes left in the third period, moments after Dallas tied it as the Toronto Maple Leafs defeated the Stars 5-4 on Wednesday night.
Nylander had two goals along with an assist for Toronto (26-15-8), while Auston Matthews, with his NHL-leading 41st of the season, and John Tavares scored and added two assists each.
Ilya Samsonov made 27 saves for the Leafs, who scored three times on the power play after falling 3-2 to the New York Islanders on Monday after the NHL All-Star break.
Evgeni Dadonov with two, including a penalty in the third period, Jamie Benn and Wyatt Johnston responded for Dallas (31-14-6).
Scott Wedgewood made 26 stops as the Stars rested No. 1 goalie Jake Oettinger following Tuesday’s 2-1 win at Buffalo.
Dadonov scored his 12th, and second of the night, on a penalty shot with 8:55 left in the third to tie the score at 3-3 after being hugged by Leafs defenseman Mark Giordano on a breakaway.
But Marner responded just 32 seconds later with his 22nd after a nice assist from Matthews.
Nylander then scored his second of the night, and 25th overall, just 20 seconds later for a 5-3 lead.
Johnston scored his 15th with 1:25 left in regulation to make the score 5-4 after Nylander missed an empty net for his second NHL hat trick, and first since February 2017, but Toronto held on.
After the Leafs tied things early in the second with a man advantage, Matthews gave the home team the lead at 12:37 on another power play when his attempted saucer pass across the box to Nylander went in against Stars defenseman Esa Lindell for a 3-2 lead.
Samsonov had to make a big save on a Tyler Seguin breakaway while the goal was still being called inside Scotiabank Arena to keep Toronto ahead before the teams scored three times in a 52-second span.
The Leafs, who beat the Stars 4-1 in Dallas on Oct. 26, opened the scoring at 6:34 of the first when Nylander scored his 24th goal after Radek Faska hit the post at the other end just over two minutes. minutes in.
Dallas, which was 7-1-1 in its last nine heading into Wednesday, gave up a short break to Matthew Knies on its first-man advantage that Wedgewood denied before connecting on his second chance when Benn finished off a slick play from pass with his ninth at 14:52 with a shot that went under Samsonov’s glove.
Dadonov put the visitors ahead 2:35 later when he cut down the middle and fired his 11th through the Toronto goalkeeper’s five-hole.
Johnston nearly made it 3-1 in the final seconds, but Samsonov was saved by his left post for the second time in the period.
Tavares got the Leafs back at 3:40 of the second on a power play when he broke his 15th and third in as many games after going a career-worst nine straight games without scoring.
Named MVP of the All-Star Game in Toronto on Saturday after leading his team to a victory in the four-team mini-tournament, Matthews nearly scored on a 2-on-1 with Marner later in the period before breaking his eighth goal in as many games.
Toronto defenseman Jake McCabe was bloodied by a late hit by Mason Marchment in the second that went unpunished, but he did not miss any action.
Toronto is still without injured forwards Calle Jarnkrok (broken knuckle) and David Kampf (undisclosed).
48 YEARS LATER
Wednesday marked 48 years since Toronto legend Darryl Sittler became the only player in NHL history to record 10 points in a game.
The Hall of Fame center scored four goals and six assists against Boston at Maple Leaf Gardens on February 7, 1976.
UNTIL NEXT TIME
Toronto visits Ottawa on Saturday, while Dallas visits Montreal.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 7, 2024.