DALLAS — Auston Matthews scored his second goal of the game at 2:10 of overtime to give the Toronto Maple Leafs a 4-3 win against the Dallas Stars at American Airlines Center on Thursday.
It was Matthews’ 56th goal of the season, the most in a single season by a United States-born player in NHL history. The 24-year-old set a Maple Leafs record in the second period with his 55th goal to pass Rick Vaive, who scored 54 for Toronto in 1981-82.
“The names that have come before us, just to be in the same breath as some of these guys, it’s extremely humbling,” Matthews said. “It’s a big honor. This feels really nice, but we’re working towards something bigger than this. It’s a nice steppingstone, but there’s work to be done.”
William Nylander had a goal and an assist for the Maple Leafs (46-19-6), who extended their point streak to seven games (6-0-1) and moved five points ahead of the Boston Bruins and the Tampa Bay Lightning for second place in the Atlantic Division. Jack Campbell made 15 saves.
“It’s very impressive to do and it’s a hard thing to do to score goals in this league, and he’s made it look real easy, especially over the past couple of games, and really couple of years,” Toronto forward Mitchell Marner said of Matthews. “It’s been a lot of fun to watch and a lot of fun to be on the ice for a lot of those to help him achieve that goal.”
Joe Pavelski had a goal and an assist, and Scott Wedgewood made 37 saves for the Stars (40-26-4), who rallied to earn one point and moved two ahead of the Vegas Golden Knights for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Western Conference. Jason Robertson had two assists.
“The vibe in the locker room, the mentality we have [is that] we’re never out of it,” Wedgewood said. “Regardless of shot counts or things like that, I’ve just always found that we find a way to get something generated. Whether it takes 50 minutes or not, they’re still looking and they’re not going to give up.
“It’s a well-fueled team and we’re obviously all fighting for something as a group and I’m excited to obviously keep going here and see what we can do.”
Nylander gave the Maple Leafs a 1-0 lead at 7:28 in the first period after a pass from Mark Giordano. It was his fourth goal in four games.
Tyler Seguin tied it 1-1 at 9:46 when the puck ricocheted off his stick in the left face-off circle and got between Campbell’s pads.
Matthews passed Vaive and set the Toronto record with a power-play goal at 18:58 of the second when he scored from a sharp angle at the bottom of the left face-off circle to make it 2-1.
“It felt good,” Matthews said. “Just a lot of emotions running through your mind, I guess, and just running through your body when you see the puck go in. I don’t know really what else to say. It was definitely exciting and a fun moment.”
John Klingberg tied it 2-2 at 5:43 of the third period on a one-timer from Robertson.
Morgan Rielly one-timed a feed from Marner to give the Maple Leafs a 3-2 lead at 10:36, but Pavelski tied it 3-3 at 17:37 on a redirection of Ryan Suter‘s shot.
Matthews won it when he skated with the puck from center ice, drove past two defenders and stuffed a shot past Wedgewood.
“You get into those last 10 minutes of the third period, and we got a big goal with a couple of minutes to go,” Dallas coach Rick Bowness said. “You’re down there, you get a point, so you take it. We were certainly going for two in overtime, we just didn’t get it tonight. That was a world-class move by Matthews, a world-class player.”
NOTES: It was Matthews’ 52nd multipoint NHL game, passing Pat LaFontaine for the most by a U.S.-born player before age 25. He extended his point streak to 15 games (19 goals, 10 assists) and had a game-high 12 shots on goal. … Marner had an assist to extend his point streak to 12 games (eight goals, 19 assists). … Nylander has four goals and five assists during a five-game point streak. … Toronto finished 3-0-1 on a four-game road trip. … Pavelski reached 70 points for the fourth time in his NHL career. … Seguin has scored in back-to-back games.