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Matthews hat trick powers Maple Leafs to 6-4 win over Kraken

March 9, 2022 GMT
Toronto Maple Leafs forward Auston Matthews (34) celebrates his hat trick with teammate Morgan Rielly (44) during the third period of an NHL hockey game against the Seattle Kraken, Tuesday, March 8, 2022, in Toronto. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP)
Toronto Maple Leafs forward Auston Matthews (34) celebrates his hat trick with teammate Morgan Rielly (44) during the third period of an NHL hockey game against the Seattle Kraken, Tuesday, March 8, 2022, in Toronto. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP)
Toronto Maple Leafs forward Auston Matthews (34) celebrates his hat trick with teammate Morgan Rielly (44) during the third period of an NHL hockey game against the Seattle Kraken, Tuesday, March 8, 2022, in Toronto. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP)
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Toronto Maple Leafs forward Auston Matthews (34) celebrates his hat trick with teammate Morgan Rielly (44) during the third period of an NHL hockey game against the Seattle Kraken, Tuesday, March 8, 2022, in Toronto. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP)
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Toronto Maple Leafs forward Auston Matthews (34) celebrates his hat trick with teammate Morgan Rielly (44) during the third period of an NHL hockey game against the Seattle Kraken, Tuesday, March 8, 2022, in Toronto. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP)

TORONTO (AP) — Auston Matthews had his third hat trick of the season to raise his NHL-leading goal total to 43 as the Toronto Maple Leafs rallied to beat the Seattle Kraken 6-4 on Tuesday night.

Mitch Marner scored the tiebreaking goal midway through the third period, and William Nylander and John Tavares each added a goal and an assist for Toronto, which got 26 saves from Jack Campbell.

T.J. Brodie and Michael Bunting had two assists apiece and Marner, who also had an assist, extended his point streak to eight games.

“We’re never down and out,” Marner said. “That’s the belief in our team, belief in our locker room and on the bench.

“We just get over it and make sure we’re ready for the next shift or next opportunity.”

Toronto, which surrendered a 3-1 lead to Seattle, was up 3-0 following the first period of Monday’s 5-4 road victory over Columbus before the Blue Jackets tied things up. That came on the heels of Saturday’s 6-4 home loss to the Vancouver Canucks in which the Leafs held a 4-3 edge through 40 minutes.

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“We’d really just like to be more consistent,” Matthews said. “Definitely some things for us to clean up.”

Colin Blackwell had a goal and an assist and Carson Soucy, Alex Wennberg and Jaden Schwartz also scored for Seattle. Philipp Grubauer stopped 25 shots for the expansion Kraken, who fell to 1-9-1 in their last 11 games.

“We have to be real honest without ourselves,” Seattle coach Dave Hakstol said. “This team can force you into some tough situations, but we weren’t hard enough to play against in a lot of areas.”

Seattle scored twice in the second period to tie the game 3-all before Schwartz tipped his seventh of the season past Campbell at 5:57 of the third. Toronto has allowed four goals or more for the eighth time in 10 games.

The Leafs responded at 9:03, when Matthews took a pass from Bunting, who was robbed by Grubauer moments earlier, and scored his second of the game.

Toronto went on the power play and Marner delayed at the top of the slot after the ensuing Tavares faceoff win and scored his 22nd goal between Grubauer’s pads just 40 seconds later.

Matthews finished things off with the sixth hat trick of his career with 41.8 seconds left in regulation, with Grubauer on the bench for an extra attacker.

Coming off Monday’s 5-4 road victory against the Columbus Blue Jackets, and playing their third of four games in six nights, the Maple Leafs opened the scoring at 3:18 of the first when Matthews fired his 41st past Grubauer as Toronto’s top-ranked power play connected for just the second time in 10 games.

The Kraken tied it at 5:21 when Soucy fired his seventh over Campbell off a broken play in front.

But the Maple Leafs responded at 9:55, when Tavares scored his 19th off a pass from Brodie and a quick feed from Pierre Engvall.

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Toronto made it 3-1 on another man advantage at 5:14 of the second when Nylander fired his 22nd through Grubauer’s pads against Seattle’s 28th-ranked penalty kill.

The Kraken got back to within one at 9:20 when Wennberg finished a nice give-and-go on a 2-on-1 rush with Marcus Johansson for his seventh of the season.

Seattle tied it just 2:29 later when Nylander turned the puck over at the offensive blue line on a Toronto power play. Seattle raced the other way on a 3-on-1, with Blackwell finishing off a Yanni Gourde pass for his eighth.

Notes: Toronto winger Wayne Simmonds was honored before puck drop for playing in the 1,000th regular-season game of his career Saturday. … Leafs winger Ondrej Kase (upper-body injury) returned to the lineup after missing four straight contests. … McCann signed a five-year, $25 million contract extension Tuesday. … Seattle head coach Dave Hakstol was a Toronto assistant in both 2019-20 and 2020-21.

UP NEXT

Seattle: At Ottawa Senators on Thursday in the fourth game of a five-game trip.

Toronto: Host Arizona Coyotes on Thursday.

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