Jason Spezza had a goal and an assist, and William Nylander and Wayne Simmonds also scored for Toronto (7-2-0), which has won four straight and six of seven.
''We got the win, which is all that matters,'' said Matthews, who has scored in four straight appearances. ''There was a lot of disrupted flow. We're taking way too many penalties right now, but special teams came up big.''
The Leafs improved to an NHL-best 5-0-0 in one-goal games. Frederik Andersen made 26 saves and is 14-1-1 in his career against the Oilers.
Leon Draisaitl scored his fifth and sixth goals in the last five games, and Zack Kassian also scored for Edmonton (3-6-0). Connor McDavid added two assists. Mikko Koskinen stopped 23 shots.
''It's definitely not easy to chase games,'' McDavid said. ''I liked how we were able to find ways to get back to even, but when we get it to even we've got to hold it there and keep building on that.''
The Leafs and Oilers - who split a pair of games in Toronto last week that failed to produce the expected fireworks with the likes of McDavid, Matthews, Draisaitl and Mitch Marner sharing the same ice surface - will go right back at it Saturday in Edmonton for the fourth of nine meetings between the teams in this season's all-Canadian North Division.
More AP NHL: https://apnews.com/NHL
Copyright 2021 STATS LLC and Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited.