TORONTO (AP) — Auston Matthews had a hat trick, Jack Campbell made 27 saves to set an NHL record for consecutive victories to start a season with 11 and the Toronto Maple Leafs beat the Ottawa Senators 6-5 on Saturday night.
Matthews increased his NHL-leading goals total to 31 and also had an assist. Mitch Marner added a goal and three assists. The North-leading Maple Leafs have won six straight to improve to 28-10-3. They are 5-2-1 against Ottawa this season.
“A nice two points,” Matthews said. “But not the prettiest win.”
Matthews had the third hat trick of his career. He has five straight 30-goal seasons to start his career.
Matthews and Marner each have 52 points through 41 games to become the first Maple Leafs to crack the half-century mark in that span since 1942-43.
“Chemistry-wise, I think we’re at an all-time high,” Marner said. “We’re moving the puck very well, we’re talking to each other constantly on the ice and on the bench about what we’re seeing. (We) have the same offensive awareness of where each other’s going to be.”
Campbell broke the mark of 10 wins to start a season set by Montreal’s Carey Price in 2016-17.
“I definitely owe the boys a nice Red Lobster dinner, that’s for sure,” Campbell said. “Definitely not what I expect out of myself, but thankfully we have a great team. They carried me tonight.”
lya Mikheyev and Zach Hyman each had a goal and an assist.
Tim Stutzle, Drake Batherson and Connor Brown each had a goal and an assist, and Alex Formenton and Josh Norris also scored for Ottawa.
Anton Forsberg stopped 32 shots for the Senators. They have lost four straight and are 1-5-1 over their last seven.
“A lot of great plays and a lot of learning lessons,” Ottawa coach D.J. Smith said. “We were careless with the puck against their top line.”
Brown set a franchise record by scoring in a seventh straight game — breaking a tie with Batherson, Jason Spezza, Dany Heatley, Daniel Alfredsson and Bob Kudelski.
“It means a lot,” Brown said. “I’ve grinded pretty hard in my career. There’s been times when I’ve been a checker. I’ve had a really good (offensive) opportunity here.”
Senators: Host Winnipeg on Monday and Wednesday nights.
Maple Leafs: At Montreal on Monday night.