Matthews scores 38th goal to help Maple Leafs top Canucks


TORONTO — Auston Matthews scored twice, giving him an NHL-leading 38 goals, and the Toronto Maple Leafs defeated the Vancouver Canucks 5-1 at Scotiabank Arena on Saturday.

Mitchell Marner had two assists and extended his point streak to six games, and Jack Campbell made 26 saves for the Maple Leafs (33-13-5), who have won five in a row.

Tanner Pearson scored, and Thatcher Demko made 25 saves for the Canucks (19-23-3), who have lost four in a row and are 1-5-0 in their past six.

The Maple Leafs extended their lead for first place in the seven-team Scotia North Division to 11 points on the Edmonton Oilers, who host the Calgary Flames on Saturday. The top four teams qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Toronto has clinched a berth; Vancouver is 14 points behind the Montreal Canadiens for fourth.

The Canucks went up 1-0 at 13:28 of the first period when Pearson took a pass from Quinn Hughes near the right boards and scored off the left post.

Matthews tied it 1-1 at 15:24 when he took a pass from Marner from below the goal line and shot from the slot off the stick off Vancouver forward J.T. Miller.

Toronto took a 2-1 lead at 3:50 of the second period when Marner stole the puck from Alexander Edler behind the net and passed to Matthews, who scored from the right face-off dot. The goal gave Matthews ninth multigoal games this season and 17 goals in 17 games.

Adam Brooks deflected a point shot from Justin Holl in the slot at 4:55 of the third period to make it 3-1. Jason Spezza got an assist, extending his point streak to five games.

Toronto extended the lead to 4-1 at 11:39 when Alex Galchenyuk put in a rebound at the top of the goal crease after Demko stopped William Nylander. Galchenyuk ended a six-game goal drought.

Joe Thornton scored into an empty net with 2:00 left for the 5-1 final.

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