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Matthews moves up in Maple Leafs history with latest game-winning playoff goal


Auston Matthews came through when the Toronto Maple Leafs needed him in Game 2 against the Boston Bruins on Monday night.

Matthews grabbed a flip pass from Max Domi and carried it into the offensive zone for a breakaway, beating Linus Ullmark for the decisive goal in a 3-2 win to tie the series at 1-1.

The marker, which broke a 2-2 tie in the third period, was the sixth playoff game-winner of Matthews' career, moving into a tie for fourth all-time in Maple Leafs franchise history.

Ted Kennedy owns the all-time franchise mark with 10 playoff game-winners, followed by Frank Mahovlich at nine and Mats Sundin at seven. 

ContentId(1.2108145): Must See: Matthews finishes off alley-oop feed from Domi

Matthews finished with three points and had a team-high eight shots on net in Tuesday's win, but also finished tied with Ryan Reaves for the most hits by a Leafs player with six. 

“Auston, goal, two assists,” head coach Sheldon Keefe said. “He’s all over the stat sheet tonight. In so many regards, he’s affecting the game positively for us. But to me, just the way he worked, where he competed. He was hard, physical, winning puck battles all over the ice.”

“[Heck] of a goal,” team captain John Tavares added. “The goal is one thing, obviously special. Not many guys in the world with those instincts and obviously the hands and the finishing ability. But just, like he talked about, the competitive aspect, winning battles, fighting for space, using his body, things he does so extremely well and sets the standard for us. [Heck] of a game by him, just driving our team.”

The 26-year-old centre won his third Rocket Richard Trophy with a career-high 69 goals in the regular season, finishing with eight game-winners for the second year in a row. He went without a game-winning goal in the postseason last year, finishing with five goals and 11 points in 11 games as the Maple Leafs advanced past the opening round for the first time in his tenure.

Tuesday's goal marked his first of the 2024 postseason and brought him to 70 since the start of the regular season. 

“Yeah, there’s a reason he scored 69,” Ullmark said of Matthews' goal. “So, try to get him next time. That’s all I can say now.”

With 23 career playoff goals, Matthews sits 11th in Maple Leafs franchise history, one back of Mahovlich for 10th. Wendel Clark owns the franchise record with 34 goals, two ahead of Sundin.

Now tied with Dave Keon, Harry Watson and Nick Metz with six playoff game-winners, Matthews will chance a to continue his climb up the franchise record list in Game 3 on Wednesday.