Auston Matthews celebrates his 30th goal of the season
Photo credit: NHL

Auston Matthews becomes the first Leaf in 63 years to accomplish this impressive feat

Published January 4, 2024 at 11:23
BY MIKE ARMENTI

After losing 3 straight coming out of the Christmas break, the Leafs have begun their California road trip with back-to-back wins, first defeating the Los Angeles Kings 3-0 on Tuesday, then finishing up strong in the second half of their back-to-back with a 2-1 OT win over the Anaheim Ducks on Wednesday.

The Leafs had shown themselves to have a flair for the dramatic on Wednesday, trailing the game in Anaheim until late in the 3rd period before John Tavares converted on a rebound in front of Ducks netminder Lukas Dostal, who made 55 saves on the evening.



While it was the captain who brought the game back to even, it was Auston Matthews who put the Ducks on ice in overtime, scoring on a slick one-timer off of a stellar Mitch Marner feed. The goal marked Matthews' 30th of the season.




Matthews' 30th goal in 35 games or less makes him the first Leaf to accomplish the feat since the legendary Frank Mahovlich did so in 1960-61. The goal also marks Matthews' 11th OT winner of his career (regular season and playoffs combined), which moves him into 2nd on the all-time franchise list behind, you guessed it, Mats Sundin, who racked up 16 such tallies in his tenure with the Leafs.



With Matthews still having 4-and-a-half seasons remaining in Toronto between this contract and the next, it's feasible that he could not only pass many of Sundin's records; he may smash them. Of course, it bears mentioning that William Nylander is 3rd on the OT goals list in Toronto with 10 such markers to his credit. If he does indeed sign an 8-year extension, as is rumoured, this record may end up belonging to him in the end.
POLL
January 4   |   723 answers
Auston Matthews becomes the first Leaf in 63 years to accomplish this impressive feat

Will Auston Matthews end his career as the all-time points leader for the Leafs?

Definitely51270.8 %
Only if he stays healthy15421.3 %
No, but he'll be close577.9 %
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