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Auston Matthews scores 50th goal in 54th game to break tie as fastest U.S.-born player to reach mark

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Auston Matthews scored his 50th and 51st goals of the season in his hometown to break a tie as the fastest U.S.-born player to reach 50 and help the Toronto Maple Leafs beat the crumbling Arizona Coyotes 6-3 on Wednesday night.

Matthews’ milestone goal came on a power play 5:01 into the game, his 54th game of the season — making him the fastest player to score 50 in a season since Mario Lemieux did it in 50 games in 1995-96. Wayne Gretzky holds the record, scoring his 50th in his 39th game for Edmonton in 1981-82. Matthews shared the previous U.S.-born mark with Kevin Stevens at 62 games.

Matthews scored off a rebound in the second period to make it 4-2. The 26-year-old center from nearby Scottsdale has nine goals in his last four games and 350 in his career in 535 games.

William Nylander also scored twice for the Maple Leafs, who won their fifth in a row and are 9-0-2 in their last 11. Bobby McMann and John Tavares also scored for Toronto, and Ilya Samsonov stopped 23 shots.

Matias Maccelli, Barrett Hayton and Dylan Guenther scored for the Coyotes. Arizona has lost 11 straight.

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