Toronto Maple Leafs scalp Buffalo Sabres 5-2

Toronto Maple Leafs scalp Buffalo Sabres 5-2. Here is the summary of the game played on Thursday, March 15, 2018

 

1

2

3

OT

FINAL

TORONTO

2

2

1

5

BUFFALO

1

1

0

2

 

GAME SUMMARY         |           EVENT SUMMARY        |           FACEOFF SUMMARY


ON THE SCORESHEET

James van Riemsdyk opened the scoring at 3:39 of the first period and later added the second Toronto goal of the night at 6:39 of the first period and the primary assist on Tyler Bozak’s second period goal. Tonight’s game is van Riemsdyk’s third multi-goal game of the season. He has goals (5) in two consecutive games after recording a hat trick on March 14. With his first goal, van Riemsdyk hit the 30-goal mark for the second time in his career (2013-14). His second goal of the night was his 31st of 2017-18, which established a new career-high for goals in a season, surpassing his previous high of 30 goals set in 2013-14. His three points (2-1-3) tie his season-high for points in a game.

Connor Carrick scored the third Maple Leafs goal of the game at 6:22 of the second period. Carrick has points (1-1-2) in two consecutive games. The Maple Leafs are 4-0-0 when Carrick scores a goal this season. Three of his four goals in 2017-18 have been game-winning goals.

Tyler Bozak scored Toronto’s fourth goal of the night on the power play at 14:10 of the second period. Bozak has points (1-3-4) in three consecutive games. The Maple Leafs are 20-4-2 when Bozak collects a point this season.

Patrick Marleau registered the primary assist on Carrick’s second period goal and later added an empty net goal for the Maple Leafs at 19:17 of the third period. Marleau’s two points give him 1122 points for his NHL career to move past Darryl Sittler for sole possession of 58th on the NHL’s all-time point register. Marleau has goals (3) in three consecutive games and points (3-3-6) in five consecutive games.

Morgan Rielly had the primary assist on van Riemsdyk’s first goal of the night. Rielly has assists (6) in four consecutive games.

Connor Brown picked up the secondary assist on van Riemsdyk’s first goal of the game. Eleven of Brown’s 12 assists have come at even-strength this season.

Roman Polak recorded the primary assist on van Riemsdyk’s second goal of the night. Polak has nine assists in 44 games this season.

Jake Gardiner had the secondary assist on van Riemsdyk’s second goal of the game. Gardiner has assists (2) in two consecutive games. He ranks third among all NHL defencemen in even-strength assists (29).

William Nylander notched the secondary assist on Carrick’s second period goal. Nylander’s assist is his 32nd even-strength assist of the season, which places him in a tie for ninth among all NHL skaters.

Mitch Marner picked up the secondary assist on Bozak’s second period goal. Marner leads the Maple Leafs in power play points (7-16-23). He has assists (4) in three consecutive games and points (2-4-6) in five consecutive games.

Curtis McElhinney stopped 38 shots to earn the victory. He is 3-0-0 this season when facing 40 or more shots on goal.

SHOTS FIRED

The Sabres had a 40-39 lead in shots on goal in all situations. Toronto had a 34-22 edge in shots on goal at 5-on-5.

Buffalo had a 69-55 lead in shot attempts in all situations. The Maple Leafs had a 45-42 lead in shot attempts at 5-on-5.

Tyler Bozak led the Maple Leafs with six shots on goal.

Tyler Bozak, Mitch Marner and William Nylander each recorded a team-high six shot attempts.

SHOTS ON GOAL

 

1st

2nd

3rd

OT

TOTAL

TORONTO

18

8

13

39

BUFFALO

11

19

10

40

SHOT ATTEMPTS

 

1st

2nd

3rd

OT

TOTAL

TORONTO

26

12

17

55

BUFFALO

19

26

24

69

ON THE ROAD AGAIN

The Maple Leafs are 18-14-5 on the road this season.

Toronto’s all-time record is 76-103-18-11 in 208 games against the Sabres and 30-64-6-6 in games played in Buffalo.

Toronto is 24-14-5 against the Eastern Conference this season and 12-6-3 against the Atlantic Division.

The Maple Leafs return to action on Saturday at 7 p.m. when they host the Montreal Canadiens at Air Canada Centre.

MAPLE LEAFS LEADERS

Faceoff Wins

9 (Bozak)

Faceoff Win Percentage

100% (Marner, Martin)

Hits

2 (Six players tied)

Blocked Shots

6 (Rielly)

Takeaways

2 (Marner)

TOI

24:58 (Hainsey)

Power Play TOI

2:19 (Rielly)

Shorthanded TOI

5:09 (Hainsey)

Shifts

28 (Gardiner, Hainsey, Rielly)

5-on-5 Shot Attempt Percentage

65.2% (Carrick – 15 for, 8 against)

RECORD WHEN…

The Maple Leafs were 3-for-5 on the penalty kill and 1-for-3 on the power play tonight. Toronto is 3-4-0 when allowing multiple power play goals this season and 16-6-2 when scoring a power play goal.

Toronto is 33-5-3 when scoring the first goal of the game.

The Maple Leafs are 25-3-1 when leading after one period and 27-1-2 when leading after two periods.

Toronto has a 27-12-5 record when outshot by their opponent.

Toronto is 7-4-2 in the second leg of back-to-backs.

The Maple Leafs are 8-3-2 in Thursday games.

OF NOTE…

Tyler Bozak was 4-for-4 (100%) on defensive zone faceoffs and won 100 percent (4 won, 0 lost) of his faceoffs in all situations when matched up against Buffalo centre Johan Larsson.

Kasperi Kapanen and Tomas Plekanec started 12.5 percent of their 5-on-5 shifts in the offensive zone, which was the lowest percentage among Toronto skaters.

Morgan Rielly was on the ice for a team-high 20 Toronto shot attempts-for at 5-on-5. Rielly finished the game with a 5-on-5 shot attempt percentage of 50 percent (20 for, 20 against).

UPCOMING GAMES:

Saturday, March 17 vs. Montreal Canadiens, 7:00 p.m. (Hockey Night in Canada, FAN 590)

Tuesday, March 20 at Tampa Bay Lightning, 7:30 p.m. (TSN4, TSN 1050)

Thursday, March 22 at Nashville Predators, 8:00 p.m. (Sportsnet Ontario, FAN 590)

Saturday, March 24 vs. Detroit Red Wings, 7:00 p.m. (Hockey Night in Canada, TSN 1050)

Monday, March 26 vs. Buffalo Sabres, 7:00 p.m. (TSN4, TSN 1050)

POSTGAME QUOTES:

HEAD COACH MIKE BABCOCK

On earning a win in a back-to-back:

I thought we started on time. Obviously, [McElhinney] was solid in net, Bozak’s line was real good for us early and James [van Riemsdyk] has got the hot hand for us right now, which is real positive. We got ourselves in a little penalty trouble there in the second period, which we can’t allow happen. We got in our own way, but other than that it was a good night.

On if he sees a difference in van Riemsdyk when he’s scoring:

I don’t know, he has obviously been real hot here since the trade deadline. Now, I don’t know if it’s just you get to concentrate on hockey and not think about all the other things. He’s been good for us, obviously has real good hands around the net and he’s an important player for us.

On Komarov’s status:

I think he’s going to be fine. Obviously, a lower body injury there. He tells me – I just saw him walking around – he tells me he did good on all the tests, so I don’t know if that means missing a game or if that’s playing the next game.

On McElhinney’s play:

I thought Mac was real solid, but I thought he was solid right through the whole game. He’s been like that all year. I think Mac feels real good about himself, he knows when he goes in he’s going to play well. He’s got himself on a good roll. Obviously, with Freddie [Andersen] out — I don’t know with Freddie, we’ll know more tomorrow. I don’t know what the scoop is on Freddie. If Freddie has got to be out a little bit, then he’ll go. If Freddie is going to be right back, we’ll just go with the same rotation.

On the team earning more wins in back-to-backs than last season as a sign of maturity:

More depth, too. The back-to-backs late in the year aren’t as hard as they are early in the year. Obviously, when you get the NHL schedule at the start of the year you always look at them and you say, ‘Who got it the worst this year?’ You don’t like it to be us, but TV sometimes gets in the way. It’s just one of those things, obviously. You’ve got to find a way to win games.

On Carrick’s having success in Zaitsev’s absence:

He’s good on the offensive blueline, he can get the puck through and he did tonight. It’s like anything in life, you’ve got to do a good job when you get your opportunity and you want to be in all the time.

On Montreal as a tough matchup on Saturday:

Obviously, a really well-coached team, really well-coached team. They’re going to play hard. As you’ve seen every night, no matter who you play in the National Hockey League – we’ve been this team a couple years ago where you’re out, but you still play for pride and you play hard every night and you’re hard to beat. It’ll be no different.

On Plekanec playing his old team on Saturday:

That’s a good question. You should ask him, I don’t know what’s going through his mind.

TYLER BOZAK (1 GOAL)

On getting off to a good start tonight:

Whenever it’s back-to-back getting a lead like that is always huge. Obviously, they fought back hard and they played us hard in the second and third. It was nice we were able to hold on.

On van Riemsdyk’s play this week:

I think he’s been doing what he’s been doing all year, just getting a little more luck. Obviously, he’s got 31 goals I think now so he’s been doing a pretty good job all year for us. He’s a big reason for our success and he’ll be a big reason for our success moving forward. We’re going to need him to keep playing well the rest of the way.

On Komarov leaving the game:

Whenever a teammate goes down it’s tough. I don’t know the extent of anything yet, but hopefully it’s nothing serious. Obviously, he’s a big part of our lineup and it won’t be an easy spot to fill. Hopefully he’ll be ready to go next game.

On the pass from van Riemsdyk leading to his goal:

Just a power play setup that we try and do. I think our power play has been doing a really good job all year at getting pucks to the net and obviously, with him down there being able to score and make plays like that is a huge reason. I just tried to go to the back door and he made a great play to me.

CONNOR CARRICK (1 GOAL)

On the ability of the defence to get the puck to the net:

Well, we’ve got to. We’ve got to play down there [in the offensive zone] and try to play heavy. A lot of teams, their defensive scheme is to try to hang out at the net and have all five below the hash. You’ve got to involve your defencemen and when we’re doing it, it’s worked out for us.

On getting a win in Buffalo:

I think we remembered the last game, it wasn’t a good result for us and we wanted to come out. We also know we have them, I think, two more times, right? You want to plant the seed that the next two are going to be tough too.

On making the most of his opportunity in Zaitsev’s absence:

You always feel for a teammate, you know how much it matters to everybody. That’s why you have more guys than you do game sweaters, so guys can step in and be ready. It’s our job as pros to step in. The whole team is counting on you. No one is going to feel sorry for you.

CURTIS McELHINNEY (38 SAVES)

On what goes into getting back-to-back wins:

Just being focused, being ready from the start. I thought we had a good start tonight, it was nice to get up early. I thought we played a pretty solid game for a back-to-back situation. It was a big win for us.

On reaching 60 career wins:

Oh, okay, there you go. It feels pretty good. Winning, I’ll never complain about it. It’s nice.

On satisfaction in earning wins as a backup goaltender:

For sure. It’s kind of been one of those things, I’ve hovered around the .500 record for my career so this year has been a pleasant surprise. It’s just been a lot of fun going in there and playing.

On what led to more shots against after the first period:

I think just a pushback from them more than anything. Obviously, the power play generated a lot of opportunities there. They’ve got some dangerous guys up top there and they made some plays. They’ve got great sticks in front of the net as well.

JAMES van RIEMSDYK (2 GOALS, 1 ASSIST)

On if he has ever scored five goals in two games before:

Probably not in the NHL, no. I think our line has been playing good for a while now, maybe not getting rewarded with some of the bounces as we’d like, but I’ve liked a lot about our game. We seem to be playing confidently and finding each other and doing that sort of stuff. It’s nice to see our line get some bounces in the sense of being able to capitalize on chances.

On getting a two-goal lead at the start:

It’s always one of those things in the back-to-back, you want to get off to a good start and obviously, we were able to do that and go from there.

On the time and space on his second goal:

I hopped out there for the extra man and I just seemed to have no one really near me. I was looking at the puck go D-to-D-to-D and tried to find an area and Roman [Polak] made a great play to find me there. I had a lot of time with it and I was able to pick a corner. [Matt Martin], I think, was in front with a great screen. He took his eyes away and I tried to put it in the corner.

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