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game recap

Matthews scores 30th goal, makes history in Maple Leafs loss to Jets

Becomes first United States-born player to reach milestone in each of first four NHL seasons

by Dave McCarthy / Independent Correspondent

Matthews' historic night

WPG@TOR: Matthews scores twice to reach 30 goals

Auston Matthews scores twice, and adds a shootout tally, to become the first U.S.-born skater to reach 30 goals in his first four NHL seasons

  • 01:35 •

TORONTO -- Auston Matthews scored twice, including the game-tying goal with 14 seconds left in the third period, but the Toronto Maple Leafs lost 4-3 in a shootout to the Winnipeg Jets at Scotiabank Arena on Wednesday.

Matthews became the first United States-born player and the first Maple Leafs player to score at least 30 goals in each of his first four NHL seasons.

"Of course this is something I'm proud of, I feel pretty fortunate to play with some really good players," the 22-year-old said. "We've had great teams and great players and a lot of credit goes to them. It doesn't matter who I've played with, I know I'm going to play with a pretty skilled guy. I think a big part of my success right now is getting in a rhythm. Last couple years I've been dealing with injuries, but so far I've been pretty healthy, and when you're constantly playing, you stay in a rhythm and that helps quite a bit."


[WATCH: All Jets vs. Maple Leafs highlights]


His 30th goal tied the game 1-1 at 4:56 of the first period when he took a pass from Mitchell Marner and shot past Connor Hellebuyck's blocker from the slot.

"We kind of had the belief all game long, the confidence throughout the game that we could come back and win this game," Matthews said. "It's all right, we got one point out of two, but it would have been nice to get both."

Nikolaj Ehlers, Mason Appleton and Mark Scheifele scored, and Hellebuyck made 25 saves for the Jets (24-16-4), who are 3-1-1 in their past five games.

"That's the nature of the beast, we had to regroup [after giving up the lead]," Scheifele said. "Matthews has a pretty good shot so you have to give credit where credit is due. They made a good play, but it was good on us to regroup and get the win."

Video: WPG@TOR: Wheeler goes five-hole for SO winner

Dmytro Timashov scored, and Frederik Andersen made 25 saves for the Maple Leafs (24-15-6), who are 9-1-2 in their past 12 games.

"Today was a much different game than the [6-4 loss to the Edmonton Oilers] on Monday," Toronto coach Sheldon Keefe said. "I thought our effort was there today, but I didn't think we did a good enough job of generating offense or putting the puck in good spots. We spent a lot of time trying to retrieve pucks and they did [a good job] of breaking us down and we didn't get much offense going. The difference in the game was we gave them three gifts."

Patrik Laine, Scheifele and Blake Wheeler scored in the shootout for the Jets. Jason Spezza and Matthews scored for the Maple Leafs.

"I saw on our first three guys Andersen was playing deep in the net so I tried to show him some speed to back him off and then slow down," said Wheeler, who scored the decisive goal. "Our goalies tell us all the time that it's hard when you're stopped on the goal line trying to read what's coming next. That five-hole opened up and I was able to sneak it through just quick enough."

Scheifele put the Jets up 3-2 at 11:45 of the second period when he took a pass from Kyle Connor on a 3-on-1. 

Appleton stole the puck from John Tavares and shot between Andersen's pads on a shorthanded breakaway at 18:00 of the first period to put Winnipeg up 2-1.

"They've got a good power play, and the way we were pressuring the puck I thought there was an opportunity to jump on it," Appleton said. "I was able to poke it off his stick and just take it to the house."

Video: WPG@TOR: Appleton forces turnover, pots SHG in 1st

Timashov tied it 2-2 at 6:00 of the second period when he scored off a pass from Adam Brooks at the top of the crease.

The Jets took a 1-0 lead at 4:00 of the first period. Andersen tripped while going behind the net to knock down a loose puck and Ehlers shot into an empty net while the goalie was trying to scramble back into position.


They said it

"It was nuts. There were so many opportunities at both ends I couldn't believe the game didn't end in overtime. But it was great to get the two points." -- Jets forward Mason Appleton

"Matthews is like that though, he's dangerous with the puck, without the puck, no matter who he is playing with he seems to find spots to get open. It's pretty easy to get him the puck and once he has it he can put it in from anywhere. When he's even more on top of his game like he's been lately, he's just that much more dangerous." -- Maple Leafs defenseman Travis Dermott

Video: WPG@TOR: Scheifele converts Connor's pass on the rush


Need to know

Matthews, who debuted in 2016-17, has scored 40, 34, 37 and 31 goals in his four seasons. … Matthews leads the NHL with 14 goals since Dec. 1; Scheifele is second with 12. … Matthews extended his home goal streak to seven, tying David Pastrnak of the Boston Bruins for the longest this season. ... The Jets tied the Colorado Avalanche and Arizona Coyotes for the second-most road wins in the NHL (14). Only the Washington Capitals (17) have more.


What's next

Jets: At the Boston Bruins on Thursday (7 p.m. ET; TVAS, NESN, TSN3, NHL.TV)

Maple Leafs: At the Florida Panthers on Sunday (7 p.m. ET; NHLN, SN, TVAS, FS-F, NHL.TV)

Video: Wheeler lifts Jets to victory with shootout winner

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