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NHL - US Sports: Keefe lauds Matthews

Toronto Maple Leafs coach Sheldon Keefe praised forward Auston Matthews for his ability to score goals in big moments.

Toronto, 17/2 to win the Stanley Cup in 2021/22, had two goals from Matthews to beat the Minnesota Wild 3-1 on Thursday, taking his tally for the season to 36 which leads the NHL. The 24-year-old Matthews also has 28 assists totalling 64 points in 48 games.

Matthews strikes again

Last season he was also the NHL's top scorer and named the Maurice "Rocket" Richard Trophy winner with 41 goals in 52 games.

Since being drafted in the first-round, first-overall by the Leafs in 2016, Matthews has amassed 415 points (235 goals, 180 assists) over six seasons. 77 of his strikes have come in his past 100 games.

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A big game player

No less than 41 of Matthews' goals have been game-winning goals which is one behind Edmonton Oilers' Connor McDavid for most since 2016/17.

The Leafs (33-14-4) sit third in the Atlantic Division and sixth in the overall NHL standings.

Keefe, who is in a third season as coach of Toronto, said about talisman Matthews: "Our team is playing a good team game, but when not a lot is happening, you need somebody to make a play and be a gamebreaker.

"He finds a way to come through with huge goals at big times in the game, and he's done that all season, and you see the commitment defensively."

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