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Tavares doesn’t take long to score for Maple Leafs

Canadiens Maple Leafs Hockey

Toronto Maple Leafs centrt John Tavares (91) celebrates after scoring against Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price during the second period of an NHL hockey game Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2018, in Toronto. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP)


If this wasn’t exactly how the Toronto Maple Leafs “drew this up,” it’s awfully close.

While the Maple Leafs ceded the opening goal of the game - and season - to the Montreal Canadiens, they’ve taken a 2-1 lead thanks to, well,, who are the two guys you’d expect? First, Auston Matthews tied things up in the first period.

Then, in the second period, you (probably) guessed it: John Tavares scored his first goal in his first game with the Maple Leafs. The slacker couldn’t get it done during his first period with the team, though. *Harumph.*

Check out full highlights, including Tavares’ first Toronto tally, in this clip:

Carey Price really had no chance.

With mere seconds remaining in the second period, Andrew Shaw tied the game up 2-2, so file that part under “not how they drew it up.”

Still, Matthews displayed his deadly shot on that opening tally, while Tavares is giving defenders all they can handle, already showing his sublime playmaking skills, including sending a great pass to Nazem Kadri for a one-timer attempt. (Hey, you never know if that could end up being a combination that works, even though Kadri’s currently penciled in as the third-line center.)

So far, very good for Tavares playing for the team he rooted for as a child.

Update: Matthews’ second goal of the night won it 3-2 in OT for Toronto. Now that is closer to how they dreamed it up.

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.