Devils have no answers for Auston Matthews, John Tavares


TORONTO – Auston Matthews had his first hat-trick in four hits on his NHL debut, and the Toronto Maple Leafs defeated the New Jersey Devils 7-4 on Tuesday night.

John Tavares scored for the Leafs on a three-point night, and Rasmus Sandin had two assists in his first game since being called up by the minors to reinforce the injured Defense Corps. William Nylander and Zach Hyman each had one goal and one assist, and Frederik Gauthier had the other goal for Toronto (25-16-6), who had been without a win in the previous three games. Mitch Marner threw in two assists.

Frederik Andersen scored 24 parades for the Leafs after two of the last three games.

Blake Coleman with his hat trick for first career and P.K. Subban scored for New Jersey (17-22-7) while Will Butcher had three assists.

Louis Domingue allowed five goals in 19 strikes before being eliminated in the second half. Veteran substitute Cory Schneider, who has just been recalled from the American Hockey League, came to the relief and ended the game with 13 saves.

Tavares opened the game when he missed a shot at Sandin for the 18th goal of the season at 5:18 in the first half.

Auston Matthews smiles after scoring a hat-trick in his four-goal game on Tuesday night.
Auston Matthews smiles after scoring a hat-trick in his four-goal game on Tuesday night.NHLI via Getty Images

Toronto made it 2-0 at 9:10 after Jason Spezza won a fight behind the New Jersey network. The puck finally found its way to Gauthier and rolled forward before firing its sixth shortside at Domingue.

The Leafs then connected to their second power play of the evening in the last seconds of the period when Hyman toppled his 12th after another shot from Sandin when he was checked in before him.

Nylander ended a sweet feed from Pierre Engvall on the lip of the crease for his 20th at 2:12 of the second to achieve a drought of four games and increase the lead to 4-0.

Andersen, who had a shaky lead of 0.880 percent over his previous eight appearances, made a nice stop at a power play in New Jersey before Coleman fought his way and finished 16th in 6:56.

Toronto, who had given up 17 goals against a 0: 2-1 equalizer on Tuesday, had another man at 10:39 am when Matthews, who made his NHL debut in October 2016, diverted a nice pass from Marner for his 32nd to 5: 1.

Schneider, who spent almost two months in the AHL, stabilized some time in New Jersey's knick, but a wide-open Matthews buried his 33rd with a one-timer from a Marner pass at 3:58.

Coleman scored his second goal eight minutes before the end and ended his first hat-trick at 15:36 to score 18 goals for the winger.

Subban finished sixth in a 6v3 powerplay with Schneider on the bench for an additional attacker with 1:58.

Matthews ended the hat trick 80 seconds ahead when he shot into an empty net.