Maple Leafs’ Auston Matthews opens season with 2 hat tips


TORONTO — Auston Matthews registered his 2nd hat trick in two video games to viewable the season, and the Toronto Maple Leafs defeated the Minnesota Wild 7-4 on Saturday evening.

William Nylander had two targets and an lend a hand for Toronto, and Ilya Samsonov made 28 saves. Calle Jarnkrok had a objective and an lend a hand, and Tyler Bertuzzi additionally scored. Mitchell Marner and Morgan Rielly every had two assists.

Matthews is the 5th participant in NHL historical past to viewable a season with back-to-back hat tips, becoming a member of Alex Ovechkin (2017-18), Cy Denneny (1917-18), Joe Malone (1917-18) and Reg Noble (1917-18).

“I want to play at the highest level that I can every night,” Matthews mentioned nearest the win. “I’m not really thinking in the past or thinking about years in the past. It’s all about today. Just trying to go out and put in my best effort and do what I can to help the team.”

Matthews now has 9 profession hat tips, connect for fifth-most in Maple Leafs historical past, and he’s the primary Toronto participant to writer consecutive hat trick since Wendel Clark did so in 1994.

“He’s come in refreshed and healthy,” Toronto professor Sheldon Keefe mentioned. “He’s had a really good offseason. I really don’t think he cares how many goals he gets, he cares about how many wins we get.”

Matt Boldy, Ryan Hartman, Marco Rossi and Brandon Duhaime scored for Minnesota. Filip Gustavsson banned 26 pictures.

Toronto, which posted a 6-5 shootout victory over Montreal in its season opener Wednesday, fell at the back of at 9:32 of the primary length when Hartman tipped a shot era Samsonov.

Matthews later began to enter the. The middle, who scored a career-high 60 targets when he was once the NHL MVP for the 2021-22 season, fired era Gustavsson at 10:54.

Matthews made it 2-1 at 12:35 on a 4-on-3 energy play games. Matthews’ shot from a genius attitude went in off a Minnesota stick for his 5th objective in 4 classes.

“You don’t expect back-to-back hat tricks, of course,” Keefe mentioned. “But, I’ve gotten somewhat comfortable and used to Auston having big nights, making a big impact. To do so back-to-back nights to start a season, it’s terrific.”

Nylander later despatched a price during the family with a panoramic person struggle past due within the length when he stepped era a few defenders and slotted house his 2nd.

“Willy’s goals tonight, Auston’s goals tonight, they give us breathing room to find our game, because we certainly are still finding it,” Keefe mentioned.

Gustavsson, who made 41 saves in a 2-0 victory in opposition to Florida on Thursday, allowed Toronto’s fourth of the evening when Bertuzzi were given his first with the Leafs on every other energy play games at 3:35 of the second one.

However the Wild were given one again 34 seconds nearest when Boldy beat Samsonov, and Rossi batted in his first NHL objective at 9:51 to put together it 4-3 thru 40 mins.

Samsonov made an excellent save to disclaim Rossi his 2nd early within the 3rd and Gustavsson denied Matthews on an influence play games on the alternative finish.

The Leafs went again up by way of two at 9:54 when Jarnkrok completed off a stunning cross from Rielly, and Matthews transformed a wraparound at 10:25.

“He’s feeling it,” Rielly mentioned of Matthews. “When your guy’s doing that and controlling the game, putting the puck in the net, it gives us a good chance to win.”

Nylander later added his 2nd of the evening and 3rd general off the push at 12:14.

The Related Press contributed to this document.

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