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Auston Matthews Scores His 40th

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The rookie superstar hits another huge benchmark—while helping the Leafs punch their playoff ticket.

NHL: Washington Capitals at Toronto Maple Leafs John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

Auston Matthews scored his 40th goal into an empty net to help the Leafs cap a 5-3 win against the Pittsburgh Penguins—with 3.4 seconds left, natch.

Matthews is now second in the NHL in goals, tied with Nikita Kucherov and behind only Sidney Crosby. His 40 goals—with one game left—are the most for any Leaf since Mats Sundin potted 41 in 2001-02. The only NHL rookie to score more goals in a season since 1994 is Alex Ovechkin. Matthews now has to be considered a heavy Calder favourite.

And most of all, his goal helped the Leafs clinch a playoff spot. The Leafs are going to the big show, and their franchise star has led them there.

Go Leafs Go!