NHL

Auston Matthews scores twice as Maple Leafs outclass Lightning 5-0 in Game 1

By Sports Desk May 03, 2022

The NHL's leading goal-scorer and MVP candidate Auston Matthews slotted home two more in the Toronto Maple Leafs' 5-0 win against the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 1 of their playoff series.

Matthews – who is first player since 2011-12 to score 60 goals in a season – got on the scoresheet early in the second period to make it 2-0 for Toronto after Jake Muzzin's opener to close the first frame.

Mitchell Marner assisted the first Matthews goal and also set up David Kampf to make it 3-0, before he got on the scoresheet himself to make it four, capping off a brilliant second period.

Matthews scored his second goal of the game to round out the rout in the last period, with Morgan Reilly collecting his second assist in the process.

Speaking to post-game media, Matthews gave plenty of credit to the Maple Leafs' penalty-killing unit after the Lightning failed to score from five power-play attempts, as well as his running-mate Marner.

"I thought we played fast, we played through the contact," he said. "Our penalty-kill [unit] was huge tonight, I thought that brought us a lot of momentum.

"I thought [Marner] was incredible. He was all over the puck – so much poise – he's just doing his thing out there. 

"It's fun to watch, and fun to be out there with him. I know he's going to continue to elevate, so we've got to look for everybody to do that as well.

"We were able to capitalise on some chances, so I thought it was a really good effort by us. But it's a series – it's going to be a long series – and there's a really good team on the other end. 

"They'll be ready to go next game, so we've got to watch this one, learn from it, and move on to the next one."

Matthews also highlighted the energy inside the building as the Toronto crowd tries to will their team to their first series win since 2004.

"It was humming here tonight," he said. "It was just electric through all 60 minutes.

"I think that's what playoff hockey is all about, the atmosphere and everything. 

"It's been a while since we've been in front of our fans in front of a full arena in the playoffs, so there's a lot of excitement, and the guys fed off the energy."

It was a similarly dominant showing for the Carolina Hurricanes, as they beat the Boston Bruins 5-1 at home.

There were five individual goal-scorers for the Hurricanes as Seth Jarvis, Nino Niederreiter, Teuvo Teravainen, Vincent Trocheck and Andrei Svechnikov put in one each.

The St Louis Blues collected an important road win against the Minnesota Wild, scoring twice in the opening period on the way to a 4-0 result.

David Perron was the man of the hour for the Blues, capping off his hat-trick with the final goal of the game, while Torey Krug had three assists.

The most competitive game of the night was the Los Angeles Kings' trip to take on the Edmonton Oilers, escaping with a 4-3 road win.

After two action-packed periods the sides were tied at 3-3 going into the last, with a late Phillip Danault goal proving to be the difference.

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