Auston Matthews Scores 55th Goal in 6-2 Victory vs. Philadelphia Flyers | 3/14/2024

Photo: Matt Slocum

Auston Matthews scored his 55th goal of the season and recorded an assist in the Maple Leafs’ 6-2 win against the Philadelphia Flyers at the Wells Fargo Center on Thursday, March 14th. Matthews’ goal made him the first Toronto player to score at least 55 goals multiple times in his NHL career… He scored 60 in the 2021-22 season, and this goal was also his 40th even-strength goal. This makes him the only active player with at least 40 even-strength goals in multiple seasons, having 44 in the 2021-22 season.

Maple Leafs lineup against the Flyers:

Bertuzzi – Matthews – Jarnkrok

Domi – Tavares – Nylander

Knies – Kampf – McMann

Holmberg – Dewar – Reaves

Brodie – McCabe

Rielly – Lyubushkin

Edmundson – Liljegren

Samsonov

Woll

Flyers lineup against the Maple Leafs:

Gurianov – Couturier – Brink

Tippett – Laughton – Konecny

Farabee – Frost – Foerster

Cates – Poehling – Hathaway

York – Sanheim

Staal – Attard

Zamula – Johnson

Ersson

Sandstrom

   Early into the first period at 17:59, Tyler Bertuzzi tipped in his 13th goal of the season off a shot from Auston Matthews at the right face-off circle to get Toronto a 1-0 lead. Pontus Holmberg made it a two-nothing lead for the Maple Leafs at 10:03 after the puck had bounced to him off Morgan Frost’s skate and he struck his fourth from the slot. Later into the opening 20 at 4:21, Timothy Liljegren pushed it to 3-0 from just inside the blue line. The Maple Leafs’ three goals in the third period was their NHL-leading eighth time they’ve scored at least three first-period goals.

   Owen Tippett put the Flyers on the board early into the second at 18:18 on the power play for his 24th goal of the season from the right side. This had been the only goal scored in the middle frame, the 3-1 score remaining throughout the rest of the period.

   At 15:15 of the final frame, Auston Matthews gave Toronto a three-goal lead when he scored off the rush. Matthews flicked the puck away from Garnet Hathaway behind the Maple Leafs’ net, beat Noah Cates up the ice, and took the puck back from Pontus Holmberg before he scored his 55th goal of the season. William Nylander made it 5-1 when he shot from the high slot at 15:07… At 11:00, Matthew Knies went for his 12th of the season to make it 6-1. With 1:32 remaining in the third period, Tyson Foerster scored a short-handed goal for the 6-2 final. This is Toronto’s eighth straight win against Philadelphia.

Auston Matthews on what he liked about how the team handled the first-period and the game starting from the first, all the way through: “Just consistent throughout the game… they make it 3-1, they’re a team that’s not going to go away, and they play very competitive, very well structured. I thought we just stuck with it, stayed patient, and obviously pulled away there toward the end of the third period but just really solid up all around,” – “I think so, a lot of good things. I think just starting well, getting the momentum kind of shifted on our side helps, and I felt like we were fresh tonight, felt that throughout the locker room. So obviously, a positive.”

Tyler Bertuzzi on the 6-2 win and the chemistry with both Auston Matthews and William Nylander: “It was good – we were on our toes and everyone had a good first shift. To score three minutes into the game is big and get off to a good start,” – “I just recently started playing with Auston and tonight was a lot better for us offensively, and we were really good defensively too. We weren’t in our zone too much and once we’re good at that, that brings the offensive zone into play.”

Notes:

– All Pontus Holmberg, Tyler Bertuzzi, Timothy Liljegren, and William Nylander had a goal and an assist. Ilya Samsonov made a total of 26 saves for Toronto.

   Samsonov matched a team record with his seventh straight road win, and he joins Jack Campbell (2020-21), Frederik Andersen (2018-19), Johnny Bower (1960-61), and Turk Broda (1940-41)

– Calle Jarnkrok had left the game in the second period after appearing to slide into the boards, shoulder first, while chasing the puck.

– Connor Dewar recorded his first point with the Maple Leafs when he assisted Pontus Holmberg’s goal.

– Eight seconds was the amount of time between both Auston Matthews’ and William Nylander’s goals, tying for the team’s fastest two goals this season. Calle Jarnkrok and Mitch Marner had scored eight seconds apart on November 6th, against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

– Felix Sandstrom made 12 saves on 15 after he replaced Samuel Ersson, who let in three shots on 12.

– Philadelphia Flyers coach, John Tortorella spent his second game out for his two-game suspension due to unprofessional misconduct during the first period of the Flyer’s game against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday.

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