Venerdì, 20 Ottobre, 2017

Maple Leafs rookie Auston Matthews gets Wayne Gretzky's stamp of approval

Elettra Stolfi | 20 Ottobre, 2016, 12:48

That's five goals by rookie players in one night, and we're not even counting Jakob Chychrun nabbing his first point in Arizona and Travis Konecny adding his third assist in two games for Philadelphia.

Fans with tickets to the game are being encouraged to show up at 5:30 p.m. - 90 minutes before the opening faceoff - for "one of the most historic evenings in Leafs history". Toronto scored the first three goals of the game before the Bruins got one back before the first period ended.

O'Gara and the Bruins will be out of "watch mode" and into "stop mode" on Saturday night when it comes to the Leafs and their generational player in Matthews.

"It's a lot of excitement and obviously there's going to be (a) learning curve and growing pains throughout the way, but they've been playing great so far", James van Riemsdyk said of the youth movement.

Brown and Marner opened the scoring about 10 minutes apart, landing the Leafs in the record books once more.

He became just the 12th player in National Hockey League history to be a first overall pick and score his first career goal in his first National Hockey League game.

Matthews completed a hat trick only 85 seconds into the second period and, after Derick Brassard pulled the Senators level, he took a William Nylander pass and tucked the puck into the net on a breakaway three seconds before the end of the second period, only to have Turris pull out the victory for the Senators.

"To finally be playing in front of these fans for real it's pretty insane", Marner said.

They're the ones doing all of the scoring, too!

Pittsburgh's Ian Cole and Anaheim's Cam Fowler traded goals in the first period.

"[Toronto] has got a good up-and-coming team".

The Leafs players, not surprisingly, arent looking at the first National Hockey League game involving both as an individual competition.

"When you're 19 and you get your first goal, that's something you've dreamed about your entire life and thought about since you were four skating in your backyard or on the pond with your buddies", he said.

Boston will be without center Patrice Bergeron, but the absence of the center did not make much difference on Thursday, as the makeshift first line of Marchand, David Backes and David Pastrnak scored all six Bruins goals.

Leafs President Brendan Shanahan said it took only a phone call for Keon to accept an invitation to the event.

"They're well-coached, they're going to compete hard all night long, they're going to be on top of you and they're a good skating team". On Friday, he was honored as the greatest player in the team's 100-year history.

Thats how the Maple Leafs centre was thinking on Monday after learning he had been named the NHLs second star of the week.

"I remember when Mike first came on board with the team I told him about the anniversary that was coming up and he nearly felt it was too soon", Shanahan said of Babcock, who joined the Leafs in the spring of 2015. Cory Schneider stopped 31 shots as the Devils finished a two-game winless swing through Florida to start the season.

Van Riemsdyk was the only current Leaf to need a new sweater number after Saturday's jersey retirement ceremony.

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