Auston Matthews: Fastest American Player to Reach 50 Goals in Only 54 Games

2024-02-22 03:19:00

He only needed 54 games.

American Auston Matthews hit the target for the 50th time of the season on Wednesday night in a 6-3 victory for the Toronto Maple Leafs against the Arizona Coyotes.

With two goals in his evening, Matthews also reached the plateau of 350 goals during his career, just a few months after reaching the plateau of 300 goals.

In front of family and friends at the start of the first period, Matthews took advantage of a power play to score with a good wrist shot to make it 2-0. Bobby McMann had scored moments earlier.

Matthews therefore reached the 50-goal plateau for the second time in his career, after his 60-goal campaign in 2021-2022. By needing only 54 games, Matthews became the player to achieve the feat the fastest since Mario Lemieux’s 50 goals in 50 games during the 1995-1996 season.

Matthews also shattered a record he held with Kevin Stevens for the fewest games it took for an American player to reach that plateau. Matthews (2021-2022) and Stevens (1992-1993) achieved the feat in 62 games.

In the second period, Matthews came back to make it 4-2 in favor of the Leafs. Matthews was lucky when a return shot from Mitch Marner hit his chest, before heading into the back of the net.

Already setting an impressive pace since the start of the campaign, Matthews has seemed to step up his production recently. He now has nine goals in his last four games.

William Nylander scored twice, notably to reach the 30-goal mark, while John Tavares also scored a goal.

For his part, Marner had three assists and extended his streak of consecutive games with at least one point to 10. Marner has collected at least two assists in each of his last five games.

Coyotes goals were scored by Matias Maccelli, Barrett Hayton and Dylan Guenther.

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