Maple Leafs' Matthews first ever with 4 goals in NHL debut
OTTAWA, Ontario (AP) Auston Matthews is already doing the trick for the Toronto Maple Leafs – and then some.
The No. 1 overall pick became the first player to score four goals in an NHL debut during the second period against the Ottawa Senators on Wednesday night.
Matthews scored on his first shot 8:21 into the first period, snapping in a pass from Zach Hyman during a scrum around the net.
The second goal came with 5:42 left in the first 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, and fans showered the ice with hats.
The fourth goal followed a give-and-go with William Nylander. Matthews lifted the puck past Anderson with 3 seconds left in the second after blowing by a defender in the slot.
Matthews scored on his first four shots of the game.
His parents Brian and Ema were in the stands and celebrated the first goal with a kiss. After the third goal, Matthews' mom was shown high-fiving fans and covering her face in disbelief. The fourth goal left her in tears.
The 19-year-old from Scottsdale, Arizona, is the 12th first overall pick to score in his NHL debut.
Matthews was the fifth player with three goals in his NHL debut since 1943-44 and first since Derek Stepan with the New York Rangers in October 2010. 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.