Whenever your name is in the same sentence as Dit Clapper — the legendary Boston Bruin, of course — you know you’ve done something special.
With his second-period tally to give the Toronto Maple Leafs a 3-2 advantage over the Ottawa Senators at Scotiabank Arena on Wednesday night, Auston Matthews became just the fourth player in NHL history to find the back of the net in each of the first four season openers of their career.
Clapper, Dave Andreychuk and Sergei Fedorov are the other three to do so, according to Leafs PR. All three of those men are in the Hockey Hall of Fame.
A little over eight minutes into the middle frame, the Maple Leafs caught the Senators on a poor change and Morgan Rielly sent the puck up to William Nylander on the right side of the ice. With Matthews going hard to the net and Ottawa’s defenders scrambling to get back, the Swede feathered a perfect pass to the first overall pick in the 2016 NHL draft and he made no mistake.
Matthews wasn’t done there, though.
The 22-year-old took a pass from Mitch Marner during a power play later in the period and fired it past Craig Anderson for his second of the contest to make it a 4-2 game.
Matthews now has nine goals and two assists in his first four season openers of his career. While those numbers are largely due to his sensational four-goal NHL debut back in 2016, his dominance the moment a campaign gets underway can’t be denied.
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