Tuesday, October 4 2022

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Tampa Bay Lightning head coach Jon Cooper recently said that it wouldn’t surprise him if Auston Matthews has a 70-goal season before his career is over. The crazy thing is that’s not a crazy thing to say.

It is true that there are only 14 examples of a player ever crossing the 70-goal milestone in the entirety of NHL history and it hasn’t happened at all past the 1992-93 campaign, but Matthews is something special. On Thursday he set the Toronto Maple Leafs’ franchise record by scoring his 55th goal of the season, surpassing Rick Vaive, who set the team’s single season goal mark back in 1981-82. And yet, that was enough for Matthews. With Toronto’s game against Dallas tied at 3-3, Matthews stepped up again, adding his 56th goal in overtime.

With 56 goals in 66 games, Matthews is now on pace for 69.6 goals over the course of an 82-game season. Of course, he’s missed a bit of time during the campaign so getting to 82 games is an impossibility, but still, it shows that under the right circumstances, Matthews scoring 70 goals in a season isn’t farfetched.

As it is, this still could go down as one of the greatest seasons by a forward in the salary cap era. With 56 goals, Matthews is tied for third with Jonathan Cheechoo and Alex Ovechkin for the most goals in a single season since the cap was first introduced. The only two players above him are Steven Stamkos in 2011-12 (60 goals) and Ovechkin in 2007-08 (65 goals). With 11 games left in Toronto’s schedule, surpassing Stamkos’ mark seems like a reasonable target and while besting Ovechkin’s 2007-08 campaign is unlikely at this point, it’s not outside of the realm of possibilities.

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Roman Josi assisted on all of the Predators’ three goals. He has 19 goals and an incredible 87 points in 68 contests.

Matt Duchene got Nashville on the board first and later contributed an assist. He’s up to 37 goals and 74 points in 66 games.

Juuse Saros stopped 27 of 29 Senators shots. He improved to 35-21-3 with a 2.55 GAA and .921 save percentage in 59 starts.

Josh Norris found the back of the net for Ottawa. It was his 31st goal and 46th point in 54 games.

Anton Forsberg saved 31 of 34 shots last night. The Senators briefly had a 2-1 lead in the third, but Forsberg was beaten twice in the span of just under five minutes. Ultimately, he allowed two goals on 11 shots in the final frame.


Christian Dvorak, Chris Wideman, and Kale Clague each provided the Canadiens with a goal and two assists. For Wideman, that brings him up to four goals and 25 points in 56 contests.

Nick Suzuki and Cole Caufield each collected a goal and an assist for Montreal. Caufield is on a three-game goal scoring streak.

Tomas Tatar scored a goal and an assist against his former team. The Devils forward has 14 goals and 29 points in 68 games.

Andrew Hammond stopped 13 of 19 shots before being yanked early in the third period. Nico Daws stepped in and saved six of seven shots the rest of the way.

Jake Allen stopped 33 of 37 Canadiens shots. He has a 9-20-4 record, 3.29 GAA, and .904 save percentage in 34 starts.


Igor Shesterkin saved 30 shots to earn the shutout. He’s improved to 33-10-4 with a 2.10 GAA and .935 save percentage in 47 contests this season.

Evan Rodrigues fired a team-high nine shots against Shesterkin. Despite that, Rodrigues finished the game with a minus-two rating.

Tristan Jarry stopped 21 of 23 Rangers shots. He’s now lost four straight games, though this one can’t be pinned on him.

Frank Vatrano scored the first and therefore game-winning goal. It was his 16th marker and 27th point in 61 games.

Mika Zibanejad assisted on two of the Rangers’ three goals. He’s up to 27 goals and 73 points in 72 contests.


Owen Tippett scored the game-winning goal. He has eight markers and 17 points in 52 games.

Travis Sanheim contributed two assists for the Flyers. That gives him six goals and 28 points in 69 games.

Columbus’ only goal was scored by Eric Robinson. It was his ninth marker and 25th point in 57 contests.

Elvis Merzlikins stopped 27 of 31 shots last night. Most of the damage came in the second period when he surrendered three goals on 11 shots.

At the other end of the ice, Martin Jones saved 26 of 27 shots. He has a 10-14-3 record with a 3.29 GAA and .904 save percentage in 28 contests.


Sebastian Aho scored two goals, including the game winner. He’s up to 33 goals and 71 points in 68 games.

Jordan Staal also provided the Hurricanes with a pair of goals. That gives him 10 markers and 28 points in 69 contests.

Antti Raanta turned aside 18 of 21 Sabres shots. He surrendered a pair of goals in the first 6:25 minutes of ice time, but he settled down after that and the Hurricanes were able to claw their way back from the deficit.

The Sabres still held a 3-2 lead through 40 minutes, but Carolina outshot Buffalo 13-5 in the third. Craig Anderson got the start for Buffalo and couldn’t hold the fort with momentum tilted in the Hurricanes favor. Overall, he saved 27 of 31 shots on Thursday.

Tage Thompson had a goal and an assist for the Sabres. That gives him 32 goals and 57 points in 68 games.


Philipp Grubauer made 29 saves to earn his second shutout of the season. This has been a rough campaign for him overall though and even after that perfect game he has a 16-28-5 record, 3.12 GAA and .891 save percentage in 50 games.

Dominik Kubalik fired two shots against Grubauer on Thursday. Kubalik also had three hits and a blocked shot in 11:34 minutes of ice time.

Jordan Eberle scored a goal and registered an assist for the Kraken. He has 18 goals and 40 points in 69 games.

Alex Wennberg netted the Kraken’s other goal. It was his 10th marker and 33rd point in 69 contests.

Kevin Lankinen stopped 29 of 31 shots on Thursday. He has a 4-11-6 record, 3.55 GAA, and .890 save percentage in 23 games.

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As noted above, Auston Matthews scored a pair of goals for Toronto, including the overtime winner. That pushes him up to 56 goals and 97 points in 66 contests.

William Nylander scored a goal and registered an assist for the Maple Leafs. He has 28 goals and 68 points in 70 games.

Jack Campbell stopped 15 of 18 Stars shots. He surrendered two goals on just six shots in the third period, but Toronto won it anyways in overtime.

Joe Pavelski contributed a goal and an assist for Dallas. He has 26 goals and 70 points in 70 games.


Bo Horvat scored two goals, including the game winner, and registered an assist. He has 30 goals and 49 points in 67 games.

Alex Chiasson also had two goals and an assist for Vancouver. That gives him nine goals and 16 points in 59 games.

Jaroslav Halak saved 27 of 28 shots on Thursday. He’s 4-7-2 with a 3.01 GAA and .899 save percentage in 16 contests.

At the other end of the ice Harri Sateri kicked out 27 of 32 shots. He was beaten three times on 10 shots in the second period.

Nick Schmaltz scored the Coyotes’ only goal. It was his 22nd goal and 50th point in 52 games.


Connor McDavid scored a goal and registered an assist for Edmonton. He’s up to 42 goals and 108 points in 71 games.

Evan Bouchard also came up big for Edmonton, scoring a goal and registering two assists. He has 10 goals and 38 points in 71 contests.

Mike Smith stopped 31 of 33 Kings shots. He’s allowed just four goals over his last three starts.

Trevor Moore contributed a goal and registered an assist for the Kings. That gives him 14 goals and 43 points in 73 games.

Jonathan Quick saved 27 of 30 shots on Thursday. He has a 17-13-9 record, 2.67 GAA, and .908 save percentage in 39 starts.


The Sharks lost the game, but for them their main concern is James Reimer. He had to leave in the third period due to an injury. He stopped 32 of 35 shots before exiting the contest. Kaapo Kahkonen came into the game and saved the five shots he faced.

Elias Lindholm netted two goals, including the game winner. He’s up to 38 goals and 73 points in 71 contests.

Matthew Tkachuk scored a goal and registered two assists for the Flames. He has 34 goals and 89 points in 71 games.

Dan Vladar saved 31 of 33 Sharks shots. He has allowed just two goals in each of his last three starts.

Nick Bonino found the back of the net for San Jose. That gives him 10 goals and 19 points in 68 contests.


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