Matthews scores 2 more, NHL-leading Leafs beat Canadiens
MONTREAL (AP) — Auston Matthews scored twice to increase his NHL-leading goals total to 18 and added two assists in the Toronto Maple Leafs’ 5-3 victory over the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday night.
“The recipe for our success has been us competing and working hard,” Matthews said. “We’ve been focused on that, it’s been working. We’re winning games right now, which is the most important thing. As long as we’re winning, I’m happy, we’re all happy. We just want to continue that.”
Mitch Marner had a goal and two assists, Travis Boyd and Alexander Kerfoot also scored and Frederik Andersen stopped 30 saves. Morgan Rielly added two assists to help the NHL-leading Maple Leafs improve to 14-3-2.
“Get the puck to Matts,” Marner said. “Guy’s on fire right now.”
Matthews also had two goals and two assists Thursday night at home in a 7-3 victory over Ottawa. He’s the sixth player in franchise history to have a 16-game points streak, two back of record-holders Darryl Sittler and Ed Olczyk.
“Auston is setting new standards, it seems like, every day,” Toronto coach Sheldon Keefe said. “But I think it’s also important to recognize the play of Mitch Marner here, and how he’s really teamed up with Auston. They’re pushing each other to new heights, and it’s been fun to watch.”
Matthews scored both goals against the Canadiens on the power play.
“I want to score, I want to produce and do those things,” Matthews said. “But I’ve just been trying to do the little things that help the team win and put the momentum back on our side. It’s more than just scoring goals.”
Jesperi Kotkaniemi, Paul Byron and Tyler Toffoli scored for Montreal, and Carey Price stopped 22 shots.
“We expect more out of ourselves,” Montreal coach Claude Julien said. “It’s disappointing because we had our legs, we had our opportunities. Had we been sharp mentally and really cut down on some of those mistakes, we could have won this game. But we shot ourselves in the foot.”
The Canadiens played for the first time in a week after beating the Maple Leafs 2-1 in Toronto a week ago.
Maple Leafs: Host Calgary on Monday and Wednesday nights.
Canadiens: At Ottawa on Sunday and Tuesday nights.