Maple Leafs star Auston Matthews has one more shot to reach 70-goal milestone

Auston Matthews scores his 69th goal for the Toronto Maple Leafs, on a four-minute powerplay. It started all started from a Patrick Kane high sticked Simon Benoit.

Auston Matthews has one more chance to reach a milestone not touched in nearly three decades.

The Maple Leafs sniper was unable to score in Tuesday night’s 5-2 loss to the Florida Panthers, leaving him stuck on 69 goals for the season.

Matthews and Toronto visit the Tampa Bay Lightning to close out the regular season on Wednesday night. The 26-year-old centre is looking to become the first player to score 70 goals in a campaign since Teemu Selanne and Alexander Mogilny both registered 76 back in 1992-93.

Matthews, who had found the back of the net 10 times in his previous eight games before the loss to the Panthers, can become just the ninth player in NHL history to score 70 goals in a season, joining the likes of Wayne Gretzky, Brett Hull and Mario Lemieux.

Toronto’s defeat to Florida, coupled with Ottawa’s 3-1 victory over Boston, means the Leafs will play the Bruins in the first round of the playoffs. The Panthers and Lightning are set to square off in the other Atlantic Division matchup.

Tampa star Nikita Kucherov is also looking for a milestone Wednesday night. The winger is sitting on 99 assists and can become just the fifth player in NHL history get to 100 after Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid also reached the number on Monday in a 9-2 win over the visiting San Jose Sharks.

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