Leafs' Auston Matthews scores twice in first NHL period
OTTAWA, Ontario (AP) Auston Matthews is already doing the trick for the Toronto Maple Leafs.
The No. 1 overall pick had three goals 22 minutes into his NHL debut against the Ottawa Senators on Wednesday night.
Matthews is the fifth player to score three goals in his NHL debut since 1943-44, and the first since Derek Stepan with the New York Rangers in October 2010. No player has ever scored four goals in a debut.
Matthews scored on his first shot 8:21 into the period, snapping in a pass from Zach Hyman during a scrum around the net.
The second goal came with 5:42 left in the period. He dangled through a pair of Senators near the blue line, stole the puck from two-time Norris Trophy winner Erik Karlsson along the boards then beat goalie Craig Anderson with an odd-angle forehand.
Matthews put Toronto ahead 3-2 with a one-timer from inside the right circle on a feed from Morgan Rielly 1:25 into the second period. Fans showered the ice with hats, and his mom was shown high-fiving fans and covering her face in disbelief.
Matthews scored on his first three shots of the game.
The 19-year-old from Scottsdale, Arizona, is the 12th first overall pick to score in his NHL debut. His parents were shown on the broadcast celebrating the first goal with a kiss.
Alex Smart (Montreal, 1943), Real Cloutier (Quebec, 1979) and Fabian Brunnstrom (Dallas, 2008) also had hat tricks in their first NHL games, though Cloutier played five seasons with the Nordiques in the WHA before that.