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Auston Matthews scores 50th goal in 54th game, fastest to mark in 28 years

TEMPE, Ariz. — Auston Matthews scored his 50th goal of the season Wednesday night in the Toronto Maple Leafs star’s hometown return, becoming the fastest NHL player in 28 years to reach the goal in 54 games. Ta.

Matthews, the fastest U.S.-born player to reach age 50, scored his milestone goal on a power play at 5:01 of the first period in a 6-3 win over the Arizona Coyotes.

From nearby Scottsdale, Matthews made it 2-0 with a shot from inside the circle to the left of goaltender Karel Weimelka.


Auston Matthews celebrates with his teammates after scoring his 50th goal in the Maple Leafs’ win. NHLI (via Getty Images)

Mitchell Marner and Timothy Liljegren provided assists for Michael Carcone’s goal when he slashed inside the penalty area.

Matthews added his 51st goal late in the second period, giving him 350 career goals in 535 games for a 4-2 lead.

Matthews played in 50 games with Pittsburgh in 1995-96, making him the fastest player since Mario Lemieux to play 50 games. Wayne Gretzky scored his 50th goal in his 39th game with Edmonton during the 1981-82 season and is on his way to reaching the 92-goal record.

Matthews has nine goals in his last four games and had two straight hat tricks before scoring one against St. Louis on Monday night. Florida’s Sam Reinhart ranks second in the NHL with 39 goals.

Matthews led the NHL in goals with 60 two seasons ago, becoming the first to reach that mark since Steven Stamkos in 2011-12.

The last players to score 70 or more points in a season were Teemu Selanne and Alexander Mogilny, who each scored 76 points in 1992-93.

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