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Auston Matthews (2 goals) nets record 60th goal as Leafs cruise

Sportsnaut
Apr 26, 2022; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Maple Leafs forward William Nylander (88) and Detroit Red Wings forward Jakub Vrana (15) battle for position during the first period at Scotiabank Arena. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

Auston Matthews scored twice to become the first Toronto player in history to reach 60 goals in a single season and the Maple Leafs blanked the visiting Detroit Red Wings 3-0 on Tuesday.

Matthews, who leads the league in goals, scored in the second and third periods for the playoff-bound Leafs (53-21-7, 113 points). He had gone his previous five games without scoring and had not hit the back of the net since April 9 when he also netted a pair.

John Tavares scored Toronto’s other goal while Jack Campbell stopped 20 shots to notch his fifth shutout of the season.

Alex Nedeljkovic made 33 saves for Detroit (31-40-10, 72 points).

Toronto had the only power play of the first period but couldn’t cash in. The Leafs outshot the Wings 14-7, including four from Matthews, but it remained scoreless after 20 minutes.

Detroit had its first power play in the second when Nicholas Robertson was whistled for high-sticking but the Red Wings came up empty.

A Red Wings turnover in their own zone led to the first goal at 15:48 of the second period. Colin Blackwell collected the puck behind the Detroit net and passed it to Jason Spezza. He slipped it to Matthews, who made Nedeljkovic sprawl by faking a shot, then flicked it into the net.

The Wings were awarded another power play before the period ended with Pierre Engvall was called for interference.

That expired early in the third and Tavares gave Toronto a 2-0 lead at 4:03 of the period. William Nylander fed the puck to Tavares, who was left unchecked in front of the net. Ilya Lyubushkin collected the second assist on Tavares’ 27th goal.

Matthews’ second goal of the game came on a power play with Mitchell Stephens in the penalty box for tripping. Matthews wheeled around near the blue line, then ripped a shot from the slot past Nedeljkovic. Nylander and Morgan Rielly had the assists on Matthews’ milestone goal.

Detroit’s Jakub Vrana rifled a shot off the post during a third-period power play.

–Field Level Media