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Auston Matthews becomes first NHL player to score four goals in debut

No. 1 overall pick Auston Matthews makes history for the Toronto Maple Leafs as the first ever player to score four goals in their NHL debut.

Consider this post a running list of the history that Auston Matthews is making on opening night.

The big headline is this: Matthews scored his fourth goal in the closing seconds of the second period, giving the Toronto Maple Leafs a 4-3 lead against the Ottawa Senators.

In doing so, Matthews became the first player in NHL history to score four goals in his first game. It wasn’t enough for the Maple Leafs to win (Ottawa won 5-4 in OT), but still ... impressive.

All four goals can be viewed in the video above.

His mom was pleased:

Maple Leafs management tried to contain their giddy excitement:

Matthews admits he hasn’t had a four-goal night in quite some time.

OK, let’s circle back and look at how Matthews’ night shakes out ... while acknowledging that he can add even more to his totals in the third period.

  • ESPN Stats & Info notes that a) Sam Bennett was the only player to score four goals in 2015-16 and b) Sidney Crosby hasn’t ever scored four in one game.
  • Three other players have generated a hat trick in a debut game, as Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman notes.
  • It’s been a long time (1917) since someone’s even scored at least four goals in an opener.
  • shared this list of great opening night performances.
  • Alex Ovechkin is the only other No. 1 overall pick to score at least two goals in a debut, according to NHL Network.