Dylan Larkin's goal in overtime lifts the Detroit Red Wings over the Maple Leafs, 5-4

Dylan Larkin's goal in overtime lifts the Detroit Red Wings over the Maple Leafs, 5-4

TORONTO – The Detroit Red Wings' top line is here to keep their playoff chase alive.

Dylan Larkin scored 41 seconds into overtime to lead the Wings to a 5-4 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday at Scotiabank Arena, giving the Wings an 87-point lead with two games remaining. The Wings (39-32-9) host the Canadiens on Monday and play at Montreal on Tuesday.

By the time the first half ended, the Wings were in a good position, with Alex DeBrincat scoring twice and one each from Simon Edvinsson and David Perron.

By the time the second half ended, the Wings were in tatters. Not just because they blew a three-goal lead as Nicholas Robertson, Auston Matthews and John Tavares scored on James Reimer's goal, but because of the two games of the afternoon. The Washington Capitals and Philadelphia Flyers have both won to reach 87 points, and with their matchup on Tuesday, one is guaranteed to reach 89 points, and both hold the first tiebreaker over Detroit with 30 regulation wins each.

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A milestone for Reimer

The convergence of events worked in favor of Reimer's start: He led the Wings to victory in Toronto in January. He used to play for the Leafs, so he's used to the arena, and Alex Lyon looked like he needed a break after battling the puck in a 6-5 overtime loss to Pittsburgh. And last but not least, this was the 500th match of Reimer's career.

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“These accomplishments are impressive,” coach Derek Lalonde said. “The 80th goaltender to reach 500 games, and the way he did it — competing and working hard. I think it's only fitting that he does it here in Toronto in a meaningful game for our organization.”

Reimer made 31 saves.

Finally DeBrincat scored again

Joe Velino's check on Timothy Liljegren near the midway point of the first half left the Wings short, and they fell behind when Mitch Marner converted an open shot from the left side, just 22 seconds into the power play. The Wings tied the game less than two minutes later on a much-needed goal from DeBrincat. The former 40-goal scorer (with Chicago) had been held to 24 goals since March 26, but his hot hands from the previous game, when he set up Lucas Raymond's three goals, finished off Raymond's set-up in the 10th minute. :02. Larkin also helped give this streak a 13-point lead dating back to the previous game. DeBrincat scored again at 17:37.

The start looked promising

Edvinsson, a rookie defenseman who was called up from the minors in mid-March, scored his first goal of the season between the DeBrincat duo. Edvinsson controlled the ball along the boards, advanced and passed it to David Perron, who was next to the net. Perun sent it back to Edvinsson, who was in a position to redirect the pass behind Ilya Samsonov. Edvinsson fell to his left knee, raising his arms in celebration.

Perron added his second point of the night by scoring with 16.8 seconds left in the first period, giving the Wings a 4-1 lead.

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Contact Helen St James on [email protected]. follow her @helenestjames.

Read more on Detroit Red Wings And subscribe to us Red Wings Newsletter. Her latest book, “On the Clock: Behind the Scenes with the Detroit Red Wings at the NHL Draft,” is available at: Amazon, Company: Barnes & Noble Victory books. Personal copies are available via email to her.

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