By The Associated Press on January 18, 2024.
CALGARY, Alberta (AP) – Auston Matthews had a hat trick to push his NHL-leading goals total to 37 and added an assist in the Toronto Maple Leafs’ 4-3 comeback victory over the Calgary Flames on Thursday night.
Mitch Marner also scored and Martin Jones made 24 saves to help Toronto end a four-game skid and improve to 22-13-8. William Nylander and Pontus Holmberg each had two assists.
Yegor Sharangovich, former Toronto forward Nazem Kadri and Andrew Mangiapane scored for Calgary, and Dan Vladar stopped 29 shots. The Flames had won a season-high four games in a row.
Late in the first period, Calgary captain Mikael Backlund rang a shot off the goalpost on a breakaway that would have given the Flames a 3-0 lead.
Ninety seconds later, Matthews pounced on a mishandled puck inside the blue line by Flames defenseman Nick DeSimone and ripped a shot into the top corner.
The Leafs carried that momentum into the second period by tying it at 4:08 when Matthews converted Nylander’s setup during a delayed penalty.
After Toronto surged in front at 7:44 with Marner’s 19th goal on a 4-on-3 power play, Matthews completed the hat trick with 6:21 left in the period.
Vladar gloved a shot from Matthew Knies but couldn’t secure it before Matthews outmuscled DeSimone in the slot and buried a backhander.
Maple Leafs: At Vancouver on Saturday night.
Flames: Host Edmonton on Saturday night.
AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/nhl