Auston Matthews scored his 11th career hat trick and fourth this season in a 4-3 Toronto Maple Leafs win over the Calgary Flames. Matthews was involved in all four goals for the Leafs, his 15th career four-point game and third this season. Matthews, who now has 37 goals so far this season, is on pace for 71 goals this season, the most in the salary cap era.
Marner scored the other goal for the Leafs on the power play, while Holmberg and Nylander each had two assists. Martin Jones struggled with his rebounds in this game, but he stopped 23 of 26 for the win. The Leafs offense started slow in the first period, but they eventually out-shot the Flames with 33 shots for themselves.
The Leafs ended their four-game winless streak, and ended the Flames four-game winning streak.
Sharangovich tipped a point shot past Jones to open the scoring in the first. The Leafs weren't exactly playing loose like they often do, but they were unfortunate with the deflection.
The Matthews line lost a puck battle in the corner and had all three forwards too deep. Liljegren then turned the wrong way but was able to push the Flames out wide with good effort back. But when the puck got centred, the forwards were still nowhere to be found. They stopped skating and Holmberg especially got pulled left rather than up the right wing.
Kadri scored from Lindholm on the power play... oh for them both to be Leafs. That said, it wasn't the prettiest of goals, as Kadri's fanned shot from the top of the slot lazily deflected off Giordano's skate and through Jones' legs. Oof, another unfortunate one.
Matthews! Got one back for the Leafs with a dangle through the legs to settle the puck, and then a massive shot like it's nothing past Vladar. What a talent for #35 on the season.
Pospisil clipped Matthews' skate and fell badly into the boards. He got helped off the ice with about a minute left in the period
I called both goals the Leafs gave up in the first unfortunate, but the team didn't help themselves out by trailing in shots 15-21, including only 24% of the expected goals. In reality, they should've gotten scored one way or another. At the very least the shots against increased the risk of getting scored on.
On the other side, we have Matthews happily wallpapering over the cracks.
The top lines basically created a power play for themselves with dominant passing and positioning that led to a delayed penalty after two shifts worth of offensive zone time. On the 6v5, Nylander setup Matthews for a one-timer, which he buried with ease. #36.
Benoit and Greer got coincidental minors for unsportsmanlike conduct. That was because Greer was pushing Järnkrok into the door of the Leafs bench, and then Benoit came in and acquired Greer onto the Leafs roster with force.
Hanifin took a tripping penalty on Rielly during the 4v4, sending the Leafs to a 4v3 power play.
Marner scores from Nylander! Nylander and Marner were playing catch through the slot to each other until the Flames and Vladar bit on Nylander's shot, giving Marner the chance to hit the open net.
Good save for Jones here to remind us he's also there.
HAT TRICK MATTHEWS!! Matthews made it look easy against the Flames third pair here with the offensive rebound.
Mangiapane found a loose rebound from Jones. Liljegren fumbled the clear and the puck trickled across the line. There was some debate whether the puck was put in with a kicking skate, but it was deemed Liljegren got enough of the puck to consider it at least a deflection.
Oesterle and DeSimone got absolutely schooled by Matthews at 5v5 through two periods. That said, he's going to need five if the Leafs have a shot at winning this game.
Jones loses track of the rebound and Zary comes out from behind the net to tie the game at fours. Gonna need a couple more goals from Auston...
The Leafs challenged the goal for a hand pass, which is very unrelated to the goal but technically correct, and the goal was reversed. Wow. That's pretty dumb, and I'll say that even when it goes for the Leafs.
Liljegren grabbed a lob into the Leafs zone and didn't figure out what to do with it in time to not get a delay of game penalty with nine minutes left.
Kämpf won the faceoff cleanly and Liljegren's partner Gio cleared it down. Jones stopped Huberdeau. Kämpf stole the puck from Sharangovich and cleared the puck again. McCabe blocked Zary's shot and cleared the puck again. A neutral zone faceoff win and the penalty was cleared. The bench was really into it whenever the Leafs got a clear or stopped a chance. An inspired kill for the Leafs to lift up Liljegren for his mistake.
Tavares with a big block on future teammate Tanev. Bertuzzi got the puck out and dumped it into the offensive zone. The Flames tried to rush the puck up and Rielly got them on the icing.
Knies-Kämpf-Järnkrok played a post-pk shift. Kämpf playing a lot in the final minutes.
Matthews knew it was his last chance to score a fourth goal in the game so he took two huge long shots in the offensive zone and nearly connected on both occasions.
The Leafs shortened their bench to six forwards: Matthews, Marner, Tavares, Nylander, Järnkrok, and Kämpf.
Lindholm took a slashing penalty on Nylander, giving the Leafs a power play with one minute left in the game.
The Flames pulled the goalie to try and tie it but it wasn't enough.