Auston Matthews shared a special moment with his dad, Brian, after winning the first playoff series of his NHL career on Saturday.
The Maple Leafs finally advanced to the second round following a 2-1 victory over the Bolts in Game 6 at Amalie Arena. Auston Matthews scored the opening goal for the Leafs in the second period, while John Tavares netted the game-winner in overtime.
Matthews’ parents were in attendance for the historic moment. They had watched their son lose in Round 1 of the NHL Playoffs for six straight years. Sportsnet broadcast cameras captured their incredible reaction to Tavares’ series-winning goal.
Following the on-ice celebrations, Matthews made his way into the stands to hug his father. The two shared a special embrace, as all the hard work and patience finally paid off. Check out the clip below, which begins with Matthews’ mom and dad reacting to the goal.
Auston Matthews' parents react to the OT winner and then Matthews and his dad share a moment after the game pic.twitter.com/i1eMMR1Jqt
— Kevin Michie (@KevinMichie) April 30, 2023
It’s simply awesome to see Matthews and Dad hug it out after all the playoff failures they’ve experienced. Brian’s reaction to the Tavares’ goal is as raw and emotional as it gets. You can tell just how proud he is of his son.
Toronton’s playoff series win was a long time coming. It was the Maple Leafs’ first playoff series win since defeating the Ottawa Senators in the 2004 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals. Matthews made his NHL debut in 2016, so this moment was seven years in the making for him individually.
Matthews has been tremendous for Toronto in these playoffs, scoring five goals against elite Tampa Bay goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy in the first-round series. If the Maple Leafs were finally going to end the drought, they were going to need a big showing from their top player.
The Maple Leafs will face the winner of the series between the Boston Bruins and Florida Panthers in Round 2. Matthews’ parents, Brian and Ema, are going to be hoping their son can continue far into the postseason.