Auston Matthews: first player to score 60 goals in a decade

Could Auston Matthews score 60 goals this season? It seemed like a question that would linger through game 82. Instead, Auston Matthews reached that 60-goal mark with a game to spare, as he scored twice against the Red Wings on a busy Tuesday in the NHL.

You can watch that milestone goal in the video above. As you can see, Auston Matthews reached the 60-goal mark with style.

Auston Matthews becomes first NHL player to score 60 goals since Stamkos (2011-12)

For the first time since Steven Stamkos scored 60 goals in 2011-12, Matthews reached that 60-goal mark. Matthews is also the first Maple Leafs player to ever score 60 in a single season.

This may be the most impressive accomplishment of a season where the skilled center’s stacked up the sort of resume that could result in a Hart Trophy. (Impressively, he’s putting up Selke-level defensive stats while lighting up scoreboards, too.)

Recently, Matthews became the first player since Mario Lemieux to score 50+ goals in a 50-game span. The NHL notes that Auston Matthews is the first NHL player to score 60+ goals and 100+ points in a single season since Alex Ovechkin pulled that off in 2007-08. Matthews and Ovechkin are the only active players to reach those two marks in the same season, and only nine players pulled it off in the last 30 years. Astounding stuff.

So, how did he get there?

First, Matthews scored his 59th tally on a backhander:

 

You can watch that authoritative milestone tally in the video above this post’s headline. If you prefer things in GIF form, here it is:

It’s worth noting that Matthews reached this milestone despite missing some time. Maybe Toronto will take this all as an excuse to give him a little rest by skipping game 82, by the way? Just throwing it out there.

Speaking of Steven Stamkos, he remarkably reached 100 points on the season for the first time in his career on Tuesday. Quite the night in the NHL.

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.

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