Home News Auston Matthews scores 66th of season as Maple Leafs beat Devils

Auston Matthews scores 66th of season as Maple Leafs beat Devils



By TOM CANAVAN

NEWARK — Auston Matthews scored his 66th goal and inched closer to becoming the ninth player in NHL history to tally 70 in a season in leading the Toronto Maple Leafs to a 5-2 victory over New Jersey on Tuesday night, ending the disappointing Devils’ playoff hopes.

Mark Giordano and Tyler Bertuzzi scored in a 9-second span late in the the second period to give the Maple Leafs a 3-2 lead en route to their sixth win in seven games. Nicholas Robertson also scored and Joseph Woll made 18 saves.

Nico Hischier and Dawson Mercer scored for New Jersey, while Jake Allen made 32 saves.

Matthews 66th came on a shot from the circle that beat Allen at 7:33 of the final period. He has now scored in six straight games. Bertuzzi added his 21st of the season late, scoring into an empty net.

Matthews’ 66 goals are the most in a season among all active players and he still has four games left to play in the regular season. Alex Ovechkin of Washinton has the previous high among active players entering the season when he scored 65 in the 2007-08 season.

After Mercer gave the Devils a 2-1 lead early in the second period on a power play, Allen kept New Jersey ahead until Bertuzzi scored off a great cross-ice pass by Max Domi. Giordano tallied seconds later on a shot from the point.

70 GOALS IN A SEASON

Eight players have scored 70 goals in a regular season, led by Wayne Gretzky, who did it four times with 92 in 1981-82 being the league record. Others who have done it are Brett Hull (three times), Mario Lemieux (twice), Alexander Mogilny, Phil Esposito, Teemu Selanne, Jari Kurri and Bernie Nicholls.

UP NEXT

Maple Leafs: Host Devils on Thursday night.

Devils: At Toronto on Thursday night.

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