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Auston Matthews, Maple Leafs double up on Blues

Feb 19, 2024; St. Louis, Missouri, USA;  Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews (34) shoots against St. Louis Blues goaltender Joel Hofer (30) during the first period at Enterprise Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Auston Matthews scored his 49th goal of the season and earned an assist as the visiting Toronto Maple Leafs defeated the St. Louis Blues 4-2 on Monday afternoon.

Matthew Knies, William Nylander and Bobby McMann also scored and Mitch Marner earned three assists for the Maple Leafs, who won their fourth straight game.

Ilya Samsonov made 19 saves to earn the victory.

Brandon Saad and Torey Krug scored and Joel Hofer made 25 saves for the Blues, who suffered their third loss in their last four games.

The teams combined for just 12 shots on goal during the first-period defensive battle. Each team earned one clean break-in scoring opportunity.

Matthews hit the right post on his chance, then Samsonov stopped Jordan Kyrou trying to jam the puck through him at the other end.

Knies scored 22 seconds into the second period to put Toronto up 1-0. Knies took a pass from Matthews in the slot and split Blues defensemen Colton Parayko and Nick Leddy to earn his post-blank opportunity.

Both teams had chances off the rush later in the period. Samsonov stopped a right-wing blast from Robert Thomas on a 3-on-2 rush and McMann misfired on a clean breakaway.

Saad tied the game 1-1 with a power-play goal with 2:46 left in the second period. Parayko fed Saad in the slot for a quick wrist shot as the man advantage was about to expire.

Matthews put the Maple Leafs up 2-1 with a power-play goal 45 seconds into the third period. He looped into the low slot to convert Marner’s pass from behind the net.

Nylander increased Toronto’s lead to 3-1 with a short-handed goal with 12:31 left to play. He broke up an exchange between Pavel Buchnevich and Krug high in the Toronto zone, then scored on a breakaway.

With Hofer pulled for an extra attacker, Krug cut the Toronto lead to 3-2 with a point shot through traffic with 1:08 left. But McMann iced the game with an empty-netter.

–Field Level Media

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