CALGARY, Alberta (AP) Auston Matthews had a hat trick to push his NHL-leading goals total to 37 and added an assist in the Toronto Maple Leafs' 4-3 comeback victory over the Calgary Flames on Thursday night.

Mitch Marner also scored and Martin Jones made 24 saves to help Toronto end a four-game skid and improve to 22-13-8. William Nylander and Pontus Holmberg each had two assists.

“I think it just gives us confidence to have that lead, hang onto it,” Matthews said. “Lots of really good things in the third period. I don’t think we sat back too much. I thought we tried to drive play on the other half of the ice as much as possible.”

Yegor Sharangovich, former Toronto forward Nazem Kadri and Andrew Mangiapane scored for Calgary, and Dan Vladar stopped 29 shots. The Flames had won a season-high four games in a row.

“We were turning the puck over too much in the neutral zone. Making it hard on ourselves and feeding them,” Calgary captain Mikael Backlund said. “They’re a really highly skilled team, and if you feed them, they’re going to eventually capitalize and that’s what they did.”

Late in the first period, Backlund rang a shot off the goalpost on a breakaway that would have given the Flames a 3-0 lead.

Ninety seconds later, Matthews pounced on a mishandled puck inside the blue line by Flames defenseman Nick DeSimone and ripped a shot into the top corner.

The Leafs carried that momentum into the second period by tying it at 4:08 when Matthews converted Nylander’s setup during a delayed penalty.

After Toronto surged in front at 7:44 with Marner’s 19th goal on a 4-on-3 power play, Matthews completed the hat trick with 6:21 left in the period.

Vladar gloved a shot from Matthew Knies but couldn’t secure it before Matthews outmuscled DeSimone in the slot and buried a backhander.

“It’s pretty impressive,” Jones said. “It always feels like even when we’re down two in the first we’re never really out of a game because we have those weapons that can dig us out of those holes.”


Maple Leafs: At Vancouver on Saturday night.

Flames: Host Edmonton on Saturday night.



Copyright 2024 STATS LLC and Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited.