Auston Matthews has broken the Toronto Maple Leafs' single-season goals record after scoring his 55th goal of the year against the Dallas Stars on Thursday. Matthews scored the record-breaking tally on a one-timer off a pass from defenseman Mark Giordano.
Matthews registered a hat trick against the Tampa Bay Lightning earlier this week. In doing so, the Maple Leafs center moved into a tie with Rick Valve for the most goals in a single season. Valve had scored 54 goals during the 1981-92 season.
Matthews recently became the first Maple Leafs player to score 50 goals in a season since Dave Andreychuk accomplished the feat during the 1993-94 campaign. The 24-year-old Matthews joined Valve (three times), Andreychuk (once), and Gary Leeman (once) as the only players in franchise history to score 50 goals in a single season.
In addition, Matthews became the fastest player to reach the 50-goal plateau in a season since the 1995-96 campaign when Mario Lemieux (50 games), Jaromir Jagr (59 games), Alexander Mogilny (60 games) and Peter Bondra (62 games) accomplished the milestone.
The 2021-22 season marked the first campaign where Matthews was about to top the 50-goal mark. Matthews scored 47 goals in 70 games during the 2019-20 season before the COVID-19 pandemic halted the season. He then had 41 goals in 52 games during the 2020-21 campaign, which was also shorter than normal due to the pandemic.
Matthews' 41-goal 2020-21 season resulted in the Maple Leafs star winning the first Rocket Richard Trophy, awarded to the league's top goal scorer, in franchise history.
Matthews has been going goal-for-goal with Edmonton Oilers star Leon Draisaitl in recent weeks. As of Thursday, the Maple Leafs star has a five-goal advantage on Draisaitl for the league lead in goals.