The Toronto Maple Leafs opened last season with a dazzling offensive outburst last season, scoring 22 goals in the first four games and posting a 3-1-0 record before settling into more mortal numbers.
Toronto recorded their second straight road victory on Tuesday in Dallas, defeating the previously unbeaten Stars 7-4 at American Airlines Arena on the strength of two goals each from Matthews and Tavares, who are leading the National Hockey League with seven and six goals, respectively.
Toronto defenseman Morgan Rielly had a career-high four assists after he scored the winning goal in Sunday night's 7-6 overtime win at Chicago. Mitchell Marner had a goal and three assists as the Maple Leafs improved to 2-0 on a four-game trip.
The Leafs nearly repeated that feat on Tuesday, as they took a three-goal lead in the second period but allowed the Stars to narrow the deficit to 5-4 before goals from Tavares and Connor Brown iced the game. Matthews has seven goals and three assists already. Tavares, who signed a blockbuster deal with his hometown Maple Leafs this summer, has scored five of his six goals in the past two games.
"When it's always going in, it's always a really good feeling, " Matthews said.
Tyler Seguin had a goal and three assists for Dallas, and Alexander Radulov finished with a goal and two assists.
Frederik Andersen had 30 stops for the Maple Leafs.
The Leafs grabbed control by scoring three times in the last 8:01 of the second period for a 5-2 lead.
Hainsey scored from near the blue line to give Toronto a 4-2 lead at 16:00. "Some big goals there, timely point in the game, so it's important we continue to build off that because the power play is not a time to take your foot off the gas".
"We have to do a better job killing penalties than we did tonight, " Stars coach Jim Montgomery said.
"When we get opportunities like that we have to make them count". They make it hard on you.
Entering the game in Dallas, the Maple Leafs had scored 13 goals in the opening week of the season. Radulov scored for the third straight game, and Jamie Benn scored his third power-play goal.
Matthews scored at 18:58 of the first period with a one-timer from the left face-off circle to give Toronto a 2-1 lead.
The Stars tied it again at 9:04 of the second.
Stars defenseman John Klingberg scored 2:39 into the third, but Tavares converted a wraparound at 4:55 to restore the two-goal margin. Connor Brown added an empty-net goal at 16:40.
In their victory over the Hawks, Toronto failed to hold four one-goal leads, including a pair of late advantages nullified by Patrick Kane tallies in the final 90 seconds of regulation with the goalie pulled. He was playing for the Stars for the first time since 2015-16 after playing the last two years in Russian Federation. RW Valeri Nichushkin (lower-body injury) made his season debut.