Matthews gets league-leading 40th goal, Toronto tops Jackets

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Auston Matthews became the first player to score 40 goals this season, Petr Mrazek made 31 saves and the Toronto Maple Leafs held off the Columbus Blue Jackets 5-4 on Monday night.

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Auston Matthews became the first player to score 40 goals this season, Petr Mrazek made 31 saves and the Toronto Maple Leafs held off the Columbus Blue Jackets 5-4 on Monday night.

Matthews and linemates Mitch Marner and Michael Bunting each had a goal and an assist. llya Mikheyev and Alexander Kerfoot also scored as Toronto snapped a two-game losing streak.

Sean Kuraly, Oliver Bjorkstrand, Jack Roslovic and Patrik Laine scored for Columbus, which lost its third in a row.

Toronto Maple Leafs' Auston Matthews, right, shoots the puck past Columbus Blue Jackets' Oliver Bjorkstrand during the third period of an NHL hockey game Monday, March 7, 2022, in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete)

After bringing sustained early pressure in the Columbus end, Mikheyev beat goaltender Elvis Merzlikins 8:06 into the game.

Marner scored off a rebound from Bunting’s long shot with 5:59 left in the first. Matthews got his league-leading 40th goal about three minutes later with a wraparound shot to the far post.

PANTHERS 6, SABRES 1

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — Aleksander Barkov had a goal and two assists as Florida won its third straight game.

Anthony Duclair added a goal and an assist. Noel Acciari, Carter Verhaeghe, and Patric Hornqvist also scored during a four-goal second period. Former Sabres player Brandon Montour opened the scoring for the Panthers, who lead the NHL in averaging more than four goals per game. They have outscored opponents 15-3 during their win streak.

Mason Marchment had three assists, and Sam Reinhart one in his first game back in Buffalo following an offseason trade. Spencer Knight made 28 saves to win his first Panthers start since Feb. 1 after getting called up from the minors.

Florida opened a back-to-back trip with its fourth consecutive road victory and eighth in 10 games away from home.

KINGS 3, BRUINS 2, OT

BOSTON (AP) — Trevor Moore tied the game with 26 seconds left in regulation, and Andreas Athanasiou scored on a breakaway in overtime for Los Angeles.

Boston never trailed in regulation, taking a 2-1 lead into the third period thanks to a goal and an assist from Craig Smith.

But with the goalie pulled in the final minute, the Kings won a faceoff in the offensive zone and Moore slid home a rebound to tie it. Cal Petersen stopped 30 shots and Blake Lizotte also scored for the Kings, who have won eight of their last 10 games.

AVALANCHE 5, ISLANDERS 4

NEW YORK (AP) — Cale Makar had two goals and an assist, Nathan MacKinnon had a goal and two assists, and Colorado held on.

J.T. Compher and Devon Toews also scored for the Avalanche, who led 5-1 midway through the third and ran out the clock on New York’s rally. Colorado ended its first two-game skid since losing two straight in early November.

Anders Lee had two power-play goals and an assist, Casey Cizikas and Brock Nelson also scored, and Noah Dobson had two assists for the Islanders.

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