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Leafs' Matthews scores natural hat trick vs. Flyers

Auston Matthews Toronto Maple Leafs Auston Matthews - Kevin Sousa/NHLI via Getty Images

Auston Matthews completed a natural hat trick, scoring three times in the second period against the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday.

With the Leafs trailing 1-0, Matthews collected a long pass from Mitch Marner and, breaking in on net, buried the puck past Flyers goaltender Samuel Ersson at the 11:06 mark of the frame.

The 26-year-old scored his second just over three minutes later, one-timing a pass from Marner home to give the Leafs a 2-1 lead on the powerplay.

Matthews found the net for the third time at 18:55 on a pass from Timothy Liljegren, who intercepted a puck just outside of the Flyers zone.

This is the fifth hat trick for Matthews this season and gives him a league-leading 45 goals.

He is now on pace for 71 on the campaign. Matthews set a career high with 60 goals in the 2021-22 season.

This is the Leafs' second-straight game with a hat trick, Bobby McMann scored three times in Tuesday's 4-1 victory over the St. Louis Blues.