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Auston Matthews Becomes Fastest U.S. Player to Score 50 Goals

Auston Matthews Toronto Maple Leafs

It’s as close to a storybook moment that you can get without culminating in winning a Stanley Cup, but on Wednesday in Arizona, Toronto Maple Leafs’ star forward Auston Matthews reached yet another milestone in his impressive season and career. Add to that it was in his own backyard in front of his friends and family back home in Arizona against his childhood Coyotes and it makes this milestone that much more special.

Auston Matthews, Toronto Maple Leafs (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

The milestone goals came in a 6-3 win over the Arizona Coyotes at Mullett Arena in the team’s first win against the Coyotes since 2020. As such it seemed fitting for the Maple Leafs’ star to reach the 50-goal plateau against his childhood team with his parents in attendance to take it in.

Maple Leafs’ Matthews Fastest American to 50 Goals

After the Maple Leafs took an early lead in the first period, it took Matthews just 5:01 of play to score his 50th goal of the season on the power play in just his 54th game of the season. The 26-year-old has been on a scoring tear this season as he looks to be first player since Teemu Selanne and Alexander Mogilny in 1992-93 to reach the 70-goal mark.

On top of that, with his 50th goal of the season, Matthews became the fastest U.S.-born player to reach the 50-goal mark in a season doing it in just 54 games and the quickest player to do it since Mario Lemieux achieved the feat in 1995-96 in just 50 games played.

It marks the second time in his career and second time in the past three seasons that Matthews has reached the 50-goal mark and has him on pace for 77 goals this season — scoring at a clip of 0.94 goals per game.

Matthews Among Greatness at 350 Career Goals

On top of reaching the 50-goal mark, Matthews added another goal late in the second period against the Coyotes to give him his 51st of the season, his 15th multi-goal game of the season and his 350th career goal.

His 350th career goal came in just his 535th career NHL game, making him the sixth fastest player in NHL history to reach that mark — topping current active goal leader Alex Ovechkin in the process.

Only five players reached 350 career goals faster than Matthews in 535 games — Jari Kurri (510), Mike Bossy (453), Brett Hull (449), Lemieux (434) and, of course,…

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