Alex Ovechkin, Patrick Marleau, Mario Lemieux and Mike Bossy are the only other players in league history to pull off the feat.
Matthews scores two more as Maple Leafs beat Red Wings
“Nice,” Matthews said after scoring twice for a league-leading nine goals to help Toronto beat Detroit 5-3 Thursday night.
“He had a fast start last year, too, unfortunately he got injured,” Toronto coach Mike Babcock said. “Hes a big man. Hes really worked hard on his body. Hes worked hard on his skating and all parts of his game. With and without the puck, hes better.”
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Morgan Rielly had a goal and an assist, giving him 12 points to surpass Bobby Orrs strong start during the 1973-74 season. Among defencemen, Rielly trails only Harry Cameron, who had 15 points in the Toronto Arenas first five games of the 1917-18 season.
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Nick Jensen gave the Red Wings a 1-0 lead midway through the first period and scored a second goal midway through the third to pull them within a goal.
Red Wings to retire Hall of Famer Red Kellys No. 4 in February
Soon after Jensens second goal, Matthews took advantage of a power play by scoring his second goal of the game.
Kelly broke into the NHL as a 20-year-old with the Red Wings in the 1947-48 season and skated 13 years on the blue line in Detroit. As a Red Wing, he played in 846 games and scored 162 goals and 472 points. He also won four Stanley Cups in the 1950s with them and the first Norris Trophy as the league’s top defenceman in 1953-54.
Detroit pulled within a goal again when a review determined Dylan Larkin scored with 6:04 left in the game. The Red Wings pulled Jimmy Howard to add an extra skater, but Ron Hainsey scored an empty-net goal to seal the win.
“Hes skating great,” Blashill said. “I think he looks awesome. Hes done a good job in the last year of really, I think, getting his skating back in a good spot. I think hes looked good through most of the year, had a setback there, but I thought yesterday he looked good. At the end of the day, hes really smart, real good poise with the puck and still an excellent passer. I think he was a No. 1 defenceman in this league for a good amount of time, probably overshadowed for most of his career, probably in my opinion didnt get the credit he deserved at all. I think hes still a real good player when hes out there because of the fact that hes real smart, moves the puck well and helps everybody around him be a better player.”
Video: Matthews nets two, Tavares adds four assists in win
“I didnt like the third,” said Babcock, a former Detroit coach. “We didnt take care of the puck as good and we didnt keep our foot on the gas.”
Howard had 30 stops for the rebuilding Red Wings, who have lost their first four games for the first time since the 1980.
“Bits and pieces of the game we did some of the good things, but it wasnt enough done right,” Detroit defenceman Niklas Kronwall said.
John Tavares, the top prize in free agency last summer, had four assists for the Atlantic Division-leading Maple Leafs, winners of three straight.
“Its great for the all the guys who are doing some scoring right now,” Babcock said. “It makes you feel good. In the end, though, its about winning. It doesnt really matter who does the scoring as long as you find a way to win. Its an exciting time for our team, but weve got to get a lot better.”
NOTES: Matthews joined Sweeney Schriner (1944-45) and Corb Denneny (1921-22) in team history as the three players who scored in each of its first five games in a season. … The Red Wings announced before the game they will retire Hall of Famer Red Kellys No. 4 jersey on Feb. 1, 2019, when they host Toronto. Kelly played in Detroit from 1947-60 and for the Maple Leafs from 1960-67. Toronto retired his jersey two years ago. … Jensen has scored three of the six goals in his career against Toronto. The defenceman did not score in 81 games last season and had four the previous season as a rookie.
The Toronto Maple Leafs No. 1 defender matched Bobby Orrs somewhat-arbitrary, but undeniably impressive 45-year-old record for the most points by a defender through the first five games of a season (in the modern era, of course) by notching his 11th and 12th in Thursdays matchup versus the Detroit Red Wings.
And to equal Orr, it was no cheapie. Rielly absolutely powdered a drop pass from Mitch Marner after jumping into the rush in transition to match his mark, before surpassing it with a primary assist later on.
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(By the way for all you history buffs, a defenseman with the Toronto Arenas named Harry Cameron actually had nine goals and 15 points through five games over 100 years ago in the NHLs founding season, but, yknow, things have changed a bit).
Rielly maintains the provisional league lead in points by one over goal-scoring machine and teammate Auston Matthews.