TORONTO (AP) Auston Matthews had a natural hat trick in the second period and William Nylander scored 54 seconds into overtime to give the Toronto Maple Leafs a 4-3 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday night.

Matthews pushed his NHL-leading goals total to 45, completing his fifth hat trick of the season and 12th of his career in a 7:49 span in the second period.

“Best goal-scorer in the league,” Nylander said. “I don’t know what else to tell you.”

Matthews is on a 71-goal pace through 51 games, looking to become the first NHLer to hit 70 since Teemu Selanne and Alexander Mogilny each had 76 in 1992-93.

“They’re a really stingy team,” Matthews said about the Flyers. “Just trying to work them shift after shift and eventually getting those opportunities.”

Ilya Samsonov made 29 saves to help Toronto improve to 28-16-8. Mitch Marner had three assists, and Timothy Liljegren had two.

Travis Konecny had a goal and an assist for Philadelphia. Travis Sanheim and Garnet Hathaway also scored and Samuel Ersson stopped 24 shots. The Flyers dropped to 29-19-7 with their first loss in five games.

“We’ve got some fight,” Flyers coach John Tortorella said. “Found a way to get a point.”

After Philadelphia overcame a two-goal deficit in the third to tie it, Nylander scored after Liljegren moved the puck up the ice and fed the winger for his 27th goal.

“Saw an opening,” Liljegren said. “Better for Willie to have the puck.”

Down 1-0 after a sluggish first period, the Maple Leafs got even with 8:54 left in the second when Matthews took a stretch pass from Marner and fired a shot past Ersson’s glove. Toronto went up 2-1 on a power play with 5:40 to go in the period when Matthews blasted a one-timer off Marner's feed.

Matthews completed the hat trick with 1:05 left in the period when he ripped another shot that Ersson could only wave at before it flew into net.

Matthews tied the Toronto record for hat tricks in a season , matching Reg Noble (1917-18), Babe Dye (1924-25) and Darryl Sittler (1980-81). Matthews also had his 72nd multi-goal game to break Sittler’s franchise mark.

Hathaway scored off a rebound with 5:46 left in regulation. Konecny tied it on a power-play scramble with 4:45 to go for his 26th of the season.

Toronto defenseman Morgan Rielly served the second contest of a five-game suspension for cross-checking Ottawa’s Ridly Greig for firing a slap shot into an empty net.


Flyers: At New Jersey on Saturday night in NHL Stadium Series game at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford.

Maple Leafs: Host Anaheim on Saturday night.



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