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Auston Matthews scores 67th and 68th goals of season in Maple Leafs' 6-5 loss to Devils

TORONTO (AP) — Jesper Bratt broke a tie with 1:14 left with his second goal of the game and the New Jersey Devils beat Toronto 6-5 on Thursday night, overcoming Maple Leafs star Auston Matthews' NHL-leading 67th and 68th goals of the season.

“A little sloppy at times,” Matthews said. “Didn’t seem like we were as dialed in as we should have been.”

Matthews has the most goals in the NHL since Mario Lemieux had 69 in 1995-96.

Bratt also had an assist, Timo Meier had two goals and an assist, and Erik Haula and Nolan Foote also scored for New Jersey Jake Allen stopped 27 shots. Luke Hughes had two assists.

“Showed how strong of a team effort we can put in,” said Bratt, who added an assist for a three-point effort.

John Tavares also scored twice for Toronto. David Kampf added a goal, and Ilya Samsonov made 14 saves.

With the teams tied at 4, Matthews took a tripping penalty in the third and the Devils capitalized when Bratt beat Samsonov with his 26th with 8:57 to go.

Tavares got things back level again with 4:47 left when he buried his second of the night — and 26th of the campaign. But the Devils responded with 1:14 to go when Bratt snapped in his 27th off the rush.

“Loose game, strange game,” Maple Leafs coach Sheldon Keefe said. “Not one that you love, but we’ll move on.”

Matthews tied it at 3 with his 68th off a pass from Max Domi pass at 7:59 of the second. The goal — his ninth in the last seven games — was his 274th at even strength to pass Mats Sundin for top spot in franchise history. Matthews has 367 goals overall.

“We don’t want to play this up-and-down, freewheeling (style),” Matthews said.

UP NEXT

Toronto: Hosts Detroit on Saturday.

New Jersey: At Philadelphia on Saturday.

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AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/nhl