Matthews joined Alex Ovechkin, Patrick Marleau, Mario Lemieux and Mike Bossy as the only players in the league’s modern era to score nine times in their teams’ first five games, according to Elias Sports Bureau research. He is one of just 16 players to pull off the feat in NHL history.
Matthews joined Sweeney Schriner (1944-45) and Corb Denneny (1921-22) as just the third player in franchise history to score in each of its first five games in a season.
“He had a fast start last year too — unfortunately, he got injured,” Toronto coach Mike Babcock said. “He’s a big man. He’s really worked hard on his body. He’s worked hard on his skating and all parts of his game. With and without the puck, he’s better.”
Leafs defenseman Morgan Rielly had a goal and an assist, giving him 11 points to equal Bobby Orr’s strong start during the 1973-74 season. Rielly and Orr trail only defenseman Harry Cameron, who had 15 points in the Toronto Arenas’ first five games of the 1917-18 season.
“I’m not going to address personal stuff,” Rielly said. “I think it’s more important to move on.”
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.