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NHL Notebook: Maple Leafs’ Auston Matthews secures second 60-goal mark of his career, Canucks clinch playoff spot, and more

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Photo credit:Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports
Aleena Aksenchuk
17 days ago
Toronto Maple Leafs forward Auston Matthews wrote himself into the history books on Saturday night after reaching the 60-goal mark for the second time in his career.
Matthews scored late into the third period on Saturday night as the Leafs took on the Buffalo Sabres at KeyBank Centre, securing Toronto’s 3-0 victory.
This remarkable feat makes Matthews the only active NHL player to have reached 60 goals multiple times in his career, the ninth player in NHL history to do so, and is the only U.S.-born player to secure 60 goals in NHL history.
The only other active players to have reached 60 goals once are Connor McDavid (64) and David Pastrnak (61) in 2022-23, Steven Stamkos (60) in 2011-12, and Alex Ovechkin (65) in 2007-08.
Despite the game being in Buffalo, hundreds of Toronto fans made the two-hour drive to fill KeyBank Centre to revel in the celebrations of Matthews’ achievement. The eruptive recognition from fans was probably heard back home in Toronto as fans chanting “M-V-P” echoed through the arena.
“It means a lot obviously,” Matthews said. “It’s as much of a team accomplishment in my opinion as an individual one.”
When asked about what the feat meant to Matthews as the only active player to do so, Matthews replied, “It’s hard to think about stuff like that, honestly, It’s special.”
The 26-year-old leads the league in goals with 60, eight ahead of Edmonton Oilers forward Zach Hyman and nine ahead of Florida Panthers’ forward Sam Reinhart, putting him on a smooth path to win his third Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy in four years (2020-21, 2021-22).
Matthews was originally the first overall pick in the 2016 NHL draft and has become one of the most productive scorers in the league. In all eight years of Matthews career, only two have seen him score less than 40 goals (2017-18, 2018-19). Both those campaigns were ones in which Matthews played less than 70 games.
The Maple Leafs currently sit third in the Atlantic Division with 93 points. They are likely to match up against the Panthers or Boston Bruins in this year’s Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Canucks’ clinch 2024 Stanley Cup playoff spot

It’s been eight years since the city of Vancouver relished in the excitement of playoff hockey, but now that exciting feeling is back as The Vancouver Canucks clinched their 2024 Stanley Cup Playoff berth.
The Canucks punched their ticket following the St. Louis Blues 4-0 loss to the San Jose Sharks on Saturday night.
The Canucks have made the postseason since the last time the club last hosted playoff games back in 2015, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2019-20, the entirety of the Stanley Cup playoffs were held in the “bubble” in Edmonton, Alberta, and Toronto, Ontario.
That year, the Canucks lost in seven games in the Western Conference second round to the Las Vegas Golden Knights.
This season, the Canucks have recorded a 45-20-8 record that secured them the first-place spot in the league a handful of times, but they currently sit first in the Pacific Division, four points ahead of the Edmonton Oilers (94).
Despite having never won a Stanley Cup, the closest the Canucks have come to hoisting Lord Stanley was in 2010-11 when they lost to the Boston Bruins in the finals. Ever since, the club has tried revitalizing that season and returning to the Cup final. Unfortunately, in recent years, things have not gone in their favour, resulting in the team failing to make the postseason eight times.
However, this year, those ambitions are looking a lot more hopeful as the team is led by J.T. Miller, who currently has 35 goals and 92 points, Norris Trophy favourite Quinn Hughes with 13 goals and 81 points, and Elias Pettersson with 33 goals and 84 points.

Rangers’ Jonathan Quick sets U.S.-born win record

Following an 8-5 win over the Arizona Coyotes on Saturday, New York Rangers goaltender Jonathan Quick sets an NHL record for the most wins by a U.S.-born netminder.
Quick made 27 saves throughout the contest, securing his 392nd career win, moving past Ryan Miller for No.1 on the all-time wins list.
Throughout Quick’s 17 NHL seasons, the Milford, Connecticut native amassed a record of 392-282-85 while posting a .911 save percentage.
Aside from the remarkable feat, Quick holds a franchise record with his former team, the Los Angeles Kings, as the all-time leader in wins with 370.
After 16 years with the Kings, Quick was traded to the Columbus Blue Jackets in March of 2023. The Blue Jackets quickly turned the trade around and sent him to the Las Vegas Golden Knights a day later. He opted to sign with the Rangers as a free agent in July and recently signed a one-year $1.275 million extension with the club.
Following Saturday’s win, Quick has gone 16-5-2 with a .913 save percentage and 2.54 goals against average.
The Rangers currently sit first in the NHL with 104 points and a record of 50-20-4. As they move into the final eight games of the year, they’re five points ahead of the second-place Carolina Hurricanes in the Metropolitan Division.

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