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Matthews blanked in finale as quest for 70 denied

Leafs’ Auston Matthews blanked as quest for 70 goals denied play Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Tampa Bay Lightning: Game Highlights (1:48) Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Tampa Bay Lightning: Game Highlights (1:48) ESPN News Services Apr 17, 2024, 11:49 PM ET TAMPA, Fla. — Auston Matthews came up empty in his bid to become the ninth

Matthews blanked in finale as quest for 70 denied

Leafs’ Auston Matthews blanked as quest for 70 objectives denied

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Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Tampa Bay Lightning: Recreation Highlights (1:48)

Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Tampa Bay Lightning: Recreation Highlights (1:48)

  • ESPN Information Providers

Apr 17, 2024, 11:49 PM ET

TAMPA, Fla. — Auston Matthews got here up empty in his bid to grow to be the ninth participant in NHL historical past to attain 70 objectives in a season Wednesday evening within the Toronto Maple Leafs‘ 6-4 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning within the regular-season finale.

Matthews was denied on all seven first-period pictures by 29-year-old rookie goalie Matt Tomkins, then rocketed a shot off the publish halfway by the second interval. Tomkins completed with 34 saves, together with 12 on Matthews, in his sixth NHL begin.

Matthews’ 12 pictures on purpose had been tied for his second-most in a recreation this season.

“I wished it, for certain, but it surely simply wasn’t meant to be,” mentioned Matthews, who went scoreless on back-to-back nights towards the Florida Panthers and Lightning. “A very powerful factor is the crew and the crew’s success, ensuring I am pulling my weight as a frontrunner on this crew and assist the crew win. That is the place my focus is at.”

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Toronto coach Sheldon Keefe mentioned there’s extra to Matthews’ recreation than placing the puck within the web.

“He is performed so tremendously properly,” Keefe mentioned. “I do know there’s been a variety of deal with him reaching 70 objectives; you type of lose sight of how properly he is performed. The best way he is performed these final two video games — give him these kinds of probabilities and people kinds of pictures, and he might have had 75. It wasn’t meant to be, and that is OK — 69 is an unbelievable season.”

Matthews’ consecutive scoreless video games adopted an eight-game purpose streak through which he scored 10 objectives.

The third-place Maple Leafs open the playoffs in Boston towards the second-place Bruins on Saturday.

The Related Press contributed to this report.

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