Maple Leafs rout Capitals 7-3, close in on team victory mark
TORONTO (AP) — William Nylander, Michael Bunting and Ilya Mikheyev each scored twice, Auston Matthews had two assists to reach 101 points and the Toronto Maple Leafs routed the Washington Capitals 7-3 on Thursday night.
Ilya Lyubushkin also scored and captain John Tavares had four assists to help the Maple Leafs improve to 48-20-6, a victory shy of the club record set in 2017-18.
Matthews — with 58 goals and 43 assists — became the third player in Toronto history with 100 or more points. Darryl Sittler had 117 in 1977-78, and Doug Gilmour had 127 in 1992-93 and 111 in 1993-94.
“It’s humbling to be mentioned with those two guys,” Matthews said. “They paved the way for us, and they have done a lot for this team and this city.”
Matthews has gone two games without a goal but already has set the club record. With eight games left, he’s two shy of becoming the first U.S.-born player to score 60 goals.
Nylander had his 29th and 30th goals. Mitch Marner also had an assist to hit the 60-assist mark for the second time in his career. Jack Campbell made 22 saves for Toronto.
“It was a complete game by us,” Matthews said.
John Carlson, Tom Wilson and Nic Dowd scored for Washington. The Capitals had won four in a row.
Bunting snapped a 17-game goal drought. “This will boost his confidence,” Matthews said. “He is a big part of our line’s success.”
Toronto fourth-liner Kyle Clifford fought Tom Wilson after the Washington player crashed into Campbell and sent the goalie’s mask flying.
“I just reached for the puck,” Campbell said. “It was a hockey play. I met him at the all-star game and thought he was a nice guy.”
Wilson received a goalie interference minor penalty late in the first period and then fought Clifford in the second period.
Capitals: At Montreal on Saturday night.
Maple Leafs: At Ottawa on Saturday night.
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