The game was seemingly headed to overtime before Matthews' 27th goal. William Nylander won a draw in the Red Wings' zone, and seconds later, skated in from behind the net toward the goal crease. The puck skittered off his stick toward Matthews, who flipped a shot from the left circle just inside the crossbar.
James van Riemsdyk and Mitchell Marner also scored for the Leafs. Nylander, Nazem Kadri, Zach Hyman, Jake Gardiner and Tyler Bozak added assists, while Curtis McElhinney stopped 27 shots for Toronto.
Anthony Mantha and Henrik Zetterberg scored for the Red Wings, and Gustav Nyquist supplied two assists. Tomas Tatar and Darren Helm also recorded assists. Petr Mrazek, who held the Nashville Predators to one goal in a Detroit victory Saturday night, stopped 31 shots Sunday.
Detroit was credited with 29 hits, compared to 16 for Toronto. The Red Wings also had a 13-6 advantage in blocked shots.
Following a scoreless first period, Mantha gave Detroit a short-lived lead 5:51 into the second period. He tipped in a Nyquist shot for his team-high 20th goal.
Van Riemsdyk answered just over a minute later when he redirected a Gardiner shot. The goal was van Riemsdyk's 24th this season, while Gardiner recorded his 32nd assist.
Marner's 14th goal came only 18 seconds later gave the Leafs a 2-1 advantage. Marner took a pass from Kadri and whistled a shot from the left circle over Mrazek's shoulder.
Zetterberg tied it midway through the third period by setting up shop near the goalpost. Nyquist whipped the puck from outside the circle to Zetterberg, who easily tapped it before McElhinney could react. The 37-year-old forward now has eight goals this season.
Toronto won the first meeting on its home ice 6-3 on Oct. 18. Detroit captured the second matchup at Little Caesars Arena 3-1 on Dec. 15. The teams will meet once more in Canada on March 24.
--Field Level Media