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TODAY IS Tuesday October 23rd
Toronto tops Chicago 7-6 in OT
Monday Oct 08, 2018 12:00am

Toronto tops Chicago 7-6 in OT
(CHICAGO) – After John Tavares went off and Auston Matthews and Patrick Kane staged a memorable dual, Morgan Rielly got the last word on a wild Sunday night. Rielly scored 19 seconds into overtime, Tavares had three goals and the Toronto Maple Leaves spoiled Chicago's home opener with a 7-6 victory over the Blackhawks. Matthews had two goals and two assists for Toronto in the opener of a four-game trip. Rielly also had two assists and Kasperi Kapanen finished with a goal and an assist, helping the Maple Leafs bounce back from Saturday night's 5-3 loss to Ottawa. Garret Sparks, who is from the Chicago suburb of Elmhurst, made 25 saves to get the win in his first NHL game since 2016. Chicago was looking for its first 3-0 start since the 2012-13 season, but it was unable to clamp down on Toronto's high-scoring lines. Kane scored twice in the final two minutes of regulation, and defensemen Duncan Keith and rookie Henri Jokiharju each had three assists. It was Tavares' first hat trick since he agreed to a $77 million, seven-year contract with Toronto in July, choosing his hometown team over several other suitors in free agency. The contract ramped up expectations for the Leafs, and the talented center is already having an effect on his new franchise. Jonathan Toews, Alex DeBrincat, John Hayden and Brandon Manning also scored for the Blackhawks, who opened the season with two overtime wins. Cam Ward finished with 27 stops. Chicago got off to a fast start after an emotional pregame tribute to Hall of Fame forward Stan Mikita, who spent his entire 22-year NHL career with the franchise and died in August at age 78. Mikita's wife, Jill, wiped away tears after a video of Mikita highlights was shown on the videoboard, and she was joined by Tavares and Toews for a ceremonial puck drop. The Blackhawks wore patches with Mikita's No. 21 on their jerseys, and No. 21 was painted on the ice behind each goal.

OTHER NHL SCORES
Carolina 8 – NY Rangers 5

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