Matthews sets Leafs season record with 56 goals
DALLAS (AP) — Auston Matthews broke the Toronto season goals record with Nos. 55 and 56, the second 2:10 into overtime to give the Maple Leafs a 4-3 victory over the Dallas Stars on Thursday night.
Matthews, who had tied Rick Vaive’s 40-year-old mark of 54 goals two games earlier, broke that with his one-timer from the bottom of the circle to the left of goalie Scott Wedgewood after taking a pass back from Mark Giordano on a power play for a 2-1 lead with 1:02 left in the second period.
The winner came when he took a pass from William Nylander and was able to swipe the puck around Wedgewood in overtime.
The 24-year-old from Arizona, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2016 draft, emphatically pumped his right arm when the puck got through a narrow gap between the goalie and the post on the record-setting 55th goal in the second period.
Stars defenseman Miro Heiskanen swiped the puck away, but the record-breaker was retrieved and tossed to the Maple Leafs bench by Mitchell Marner.
Dallas tied it at 2 with 14:17 left on a laser shot by John Klingberg on a pass from Joe Pavelski. The Maple Leafs went ahead 3-2 on Morgan Rielly’s goal just less than five minutes later, but Pavelski tied it again on his 26th goal with 2:23 left in regulation.
Tyler Seguin scored his 21st goal for the Stars, who remained in the Western Conference’s second wild-card spot through 70 games with 84 points — two points ahead of idle Vegas and with two games still in hand. Wild-card leader Nashville won earlier Thursday and has 86 points in 70 games.
Toronto is second in the Atlantic Division with 98 points in 71 games.
Matthews tied Vaive at 54 with three goals on Monday night at Tampa Bay, his fourth hat trick this season. He had three assists but no goals on eight shots at Florida the following night. No. 55 came on his 10th shot against the Stars. He won the game on his 12th shot.
Toronto got its first goal of the night during a sequence when Stars wing Marian Studenic slid into Jack Campbell, knocking the net behind the Maple Leafs goalie out of place. But play was never stopped and Nylander got his 28th goal of the season on a nifty pass back from Ilya Mikheyev.
Campbell stopped 15 shots.
Wedgewood had 37 saves, including two when he was sprawled out face-first in front of the net — one time with the puck under his stomach when play was finally stopped, and another with the glove on his fully extended left arm covering it up.
Toronto: After going 3-0-1 on their trip, the Maple Leafs play Montreal in the first of three consecutive home games.
Dallas: The Stars wrap up a three-game homestand Saturday against New Jersey.
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