Maple Leafs’ rookies put on a show in crucial win vs. Red Wings

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The Toronto Maple Leafs played and won their final game at Joe Louis Arena. And their rookies put on a show, led by Auston Matthews.

Matthews scored twice, including another beauty in the second period and the winning goal with just 1:09 remaining in the third period, as the Maple Leafs ended up having to hold on in a crazy final few minutes for a 5-4 victory.

So long, Joe!

They did hold a two-goal cushion but Mike Green scored just 24 seconds after Matthews appeared to ice this one, setting up for a frantic finish. But the Maple Leafs did hold on. That result, combined with Ottawa’s regulation loss to Winnipeg, means Toronto jumps into second in the Atlantic Division.

Once again, Matthews was the story. He’s up to 38 goals, which is only five behind Sidney Crosby. Did we mention Matthews is only 19 years old? He also tied two different records tonight.

It wasn’t just Matthews. His fellow freshmen William Nylander — named rookie of the month for March — and Mitch Marner were also in on the scoring and did so in spectacular fashion.

When they needed him, Frederik Andersen once again provided solid goaltending. Sure, he allowed four goals but he also faced 42 shots and was busy in the third period.