Auston Matthews gets hurt — yada, yada, yada — scores a filthy goal in his first game back.
It was the same old story for the Maple Leafs super sophomore who, for the third time this season, notched one in his first contest after missing time with an injury.
Thursday’s marker was extra delicious:
After gaining the blue line and executing a slick give-and-go with Morgan Rielly, Matthews walked into the slot and let a backhand go that was blocked before reaching Predators netminder Pekka Rinne. Somehow able to track and recover the puck from the crowd, Matthews curled it back and held on just long enough to rifleone upstairs past Rinne.
Matthews now has 29 goals on the season despite missing 20 games with various ailments. His 0.54 goals-per-game clip is one of the best in the NHL while his rate of 2.49 primary points per 60 is second best behind only Hart Trophy frontrunner Nathan MacKinnon.
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