Sports

Maple Leafs’ Auston Matthews reaches 60-goal mark for 2nd time in 3 seasons

Toronto centre Auston Matthews grew to become the NHL’s first two-time 60-goal scorer in 30 years, scoring with 5:37 left within the Maple Leafs’ 3-0 victory over the host Buffalo Sabres on Saturday night time.

Matthews matched the franchise file he set when he led the NHL in targets two seasons in the past. The 26-year-old joins a bunch of eight NHL gamers to have a number of 60-goal seasons, and first since Pavel Bure had back-to-back 60-goal campaigns with the Vancouver Canucks in 1992-93 and 1993-94.

Wayne Gretzky and Mike Bossy lead the checklist with 5 60-goal seasons.

Matthews, from Scottsdale, Ariz., grew to become the primary U.S.-born participant to perform the feat.

“It means so much, clearly. That is a lot of a crew accomplishment in my view as a person one,” Matthews mentioned. “It is at all times a enjoyable environment right here with all of the blue and white within the stands. Positively fairly cool.”

Matthews did a lot of the work in organising the objective by chasing after Buffalo defenseman Bowen Byram, who misplaced his stick whereas making an attempt to trace a puck dumped into the Sabres finish. Matthews’ first try was stopped by Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen. The Maple Leafs labored the puck again to the purpose the place Connor Timmins’s shot was stopped by Luukkonen with Matthews sweeping the free puck into the open left aspect to cap the scoring.

Matthews celebrated by happening to at least one knee and punching the air, earlier than being mobbed by his Maple Leafs teammates on the boards. Although a highway sport for Toronto, the stands had been full of a big contingent of Maple Leafs followers, who started chanting “MVP! MVP!”

“It is actually spectacular. Clearly, he is capable of rating lots of targets, however his play in all three zones away from the puck with the puck is simply distinctive,” Toronto captain John Tavares mentioned. “He is simply the overall package deal.”

The objective got here in the identical enviornment the place the Maple Leafs chosen Matthews with the No. 1 choose within the 2016 draft.

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