Toronto Maple Leafs Beat Buffalo Sabres 4-3 In OT

Auston Matthews




















GAME SUMMARY         |           EVENT SUMMARY        |           FACEOFF SUMMARY


–       Auston Matthews opened the scoring for the Maple Leafs at 8:33 of the second period and later picked up the secondary assist on Patrick Marleau’s third period goal before scoring the overtime-winning goal at 4:57 of the extra frame. Matthews has goals (5) and points (5-2-7) in three consecutive games. He has four goals and one assist in four career games at Buffalo. He has scored two overtime-winning goals in 2018-19.

–       Jake Gardiner scored Toronto’s second goal of the game at 19:50 of the second period and later had the secondary assist on Matthews’ overtime goal. Gardiner’s goal is his second of the season and his first scored on the road this season. Gardiner has assists (2) and points (1-2-3) in two consecutive games.

–       Patrick Marleau scored the third goal of the night for the Maple Leafs at 14:47 of the third period. Marleau has four points (3 goals, 1 assist) over his last five games. He registered two goals and three assists in four games against Buffalo last season.

–       Ron Hainsey recorded the lone assist on Matthews’ second period goal. Hainsey has registered nine (2 goals, 7 assists) of his 12 points against Eastern Conference opponents this season.

–       John Tavares registered the primary assist on Gardiner’s second period goal. Tavares has recorded 19 (11 goals, 8 assists) of his 31 points on the road this season. He has 30 points (15 goals, 15 assists) in 27 career games against Buffalo.

–       Mitch Marner picked up the secondary assist on Gardiner’s second period goal. Marner has assists (11) in five consecutive games. His 33 assists in 2018-19 are the second-most in the NHL.

–       Morgan Rielly recorded the primary assist on Marleau’s third period goal. Rielly has assists (3) in three consecutive games. He has seven points (2 goals, 5 assists) in six games against Atlantic Division teams this season.

–       Kasperi Kapanen registered the primary assist on Matthews’ overtime goal. Kapanen has 14 points (7 goals, 7 assists) in 14 road games this season.

–       Frederik Andersen stopped 38 shots to earn the victory. He leads the NHL in wins (16) and has made 38 saves in four consecutive games.

SHOTS ON GOAL (5-on-5 in brackets)








7 (7)

10 (9)

11 (9)

2 (0)

30 (25)


14 (14)

12 (10)

11 (10)

4 (0

41 (34)


SHOT ATTEMPTS (5-on-5 in brackets)









18 (18)

19 (17)

23 (21)

3 (0)

63 (56)


21 (21)

21 (17)

14 (13)

4 (0)

60 (51)




–       The Maple Leafs are 11-3-0 on the road this season.

–       Toronto’s all-time record is 78-104-18-11 in 211 games against the Sabres and 31-64-6-6 in 107 games played in Buffalo.

–       Toronto is 9-5-0 against the Eastern Conference this season and 4-2-0 against the Atlantic Division.



5 (Matthews, Tavares)

Shot Attempts

12 (Rielly)

Faceoff Wins

16 (Tavares)

Faceoff Win Percentage

67% (Kadri – 8 won, 4 lost)


2 (Dermott, Rielly)

Blocked Shots

4 (Ozhiganov)




25:50 (Rielly)

Power Play TOI

1:45 (Kadri)

Shorthanded TOI

1:25 (Hainsey)


32 (Gardiner, Rielly)

5-on-5 Shot Attempt Percentage

68.1% (Rielly – 32 for, 15 against)




–          Toronto is 4-0 in overtime this season.

–          The Maple Leafs were 2-for-2 on the penalty kill and 0-for-2 on the power play tonight. Toronto is 12-4-0 when not allowing a power play goal this season and 9-5-0 when not scoring a power play goal.

–          Toronto is 14-0-0 when scoring the first goal of the game.

–          The Maple Leafs are 4-3-0 when tied after one period and 15-0-0 when leading after two periods.

–          Toronto has a 13-3-0 record when outshot by their opponent.

–          The Maple Leafs are 4-0-0 in Tuesday games.



–          Toronto’s line of Tyler Ennis, Frederik Gauthier and Par Lindholm were the lone Maple Leaf skaters to not start a 5-on-5 shift in the offensive zone.

–          Nazem Kadri won 100 percent (6 won, 0 lost) of his defensive zone faceoffs tonight.

–          John Tavares won 88 percent (7 won, 1 lost) of his faceoffs when matched up with Buffalo centre Jack Eichel.


–       Thursday, December 6, 7:00 p.m., vs. Detroit Red Wings (Sportsnet Ontario, TSN 1050)

–       Saturday, December 8, 7:00 p.m., at Boston Bruins (Hockey Night in Canada, FAN 590)

–       Tuesday, December 11, 7:00 p.m., at Carolina Hurricanes (TSN4, FAN 590)

–       Thursday, December 13, 7:30 p.m., at Tampa Bay Lightning (Sportsnet Ontario, TSN 1050)

–       Saturday, December 15, 7:00 p.m., at Florida Panthers (Hockey Night in Canada, TSN 1050)




On tonight’s game:

I just thought we found a way. At the start of the game, they were quicker than us for whatever reason and then I thought we got it dialed in. I thought we really took over the start of the second period – the last seven minutes of the first and start of the second period – and had the game in a good spot. We, in my opinion, turned the puck over for one and lost faceoffs for two. All in all, we found a way to win and, obviously, good players do good things. [Kapanen] had a real good chance there in overtime as well and the goalie made a really good save. [Matthews] was able to finish.

On Matthews having three points despite not feeling 100

If you know him, and I don’t want to take anything away, he got two goals tonight, but, obviously his skating and his conditioning are – there’s nothing you can do until you play. The more he plays and the more he gets through it, the better he’s going to be. That ability to keep pushing when you’re in a battle – it’s tough – the ability to keep your legs going. Any time you’ve been off, it’s going to take you some time. He knows that, but he’s a good enough player that he’s obviously helping us in the meantime.​ 



On Matthews’ shot and game winning goal:

Yeah, it’s good practice for me. Obviously, it’s nice to see him do that in a game. I think his first goal is probably more impressive. He gloves that down and brings it around the net. He’s a special player, definitely has a nose for finding the net.

On the team closing out a tight game:

Yeah, I mean, both teams were going at it back-and-forth and both teams had their moments in the game. I thought we responded really well to them getting up 3-2 there late. Great goal by Patty [Marleau] and, obviously, made the most of those five minutes in overtime.



On the team’s resilience tonight:

It was good to see that we came out, got the first one, they battled back and got the lead. It was good we stuck with it and found a way to win.

On if there is anything surprising about Auston’s play since being back from injury:

No, not really, it’s pretty usual for him. It’s pretty amazing what he can do on a nightly basis and then, like you said, coming back from a 14-game absence.

On where Matthews’ shooting ability ranks among his past teammates:

He’s definitely a game-changer. Any time he can get open and get the shot, I don’t know who you could compare him to. He’s very unique in that respect. There’s been some in the past, but I think you take him for what he is.


On facing Eichel:

I think, in the end, you kind of treat it as another game, but when you go against superstars on the other side like himself, I think it elevates your game a bit. We knew going into it, it was going to be a tight game. They’ve been playing extremely well lately and it definitely went back and forth there. We’re happy to walk out of here with two points.

On his overtime goal:

We caught a break there, I didn’t really know how much time was left. Towards the end of my shift I decided to stay out there. I was just able to pull it in and pick a corner, I guess. Lucky to get it off with a little bit of time remaining. I think everybody is going home pretty happy on our side.

On if he’s feeling more fit now after returning from injury:

A little bit. I mean, I think the first period — as a team they had us hemmed in there for the first 12 or 13 minutes and we started to push back. For myself, that first period, it took me a while to get my legs going. In the second and third I felt a lot better. I know it’s not going to come back immediately, but I think game-by-game I start to feel more and more like myself. That second and third definitely felt a lot better.


On tonight’s game:

It was a good hockey game. They came out hard and there was definitely good energy in the building. Even though it’s – I wouldn’t say early – but we’re still in the first half of the season, positioning is still key and giving yourself the best opportunity, even though we’ve still got a lot of hockey left this year. They’ve played really well this year, they’ve got a lot of confidence and they’re playing well. They came ready to play. It wasn’t our best tonight, but we stuck with it, found a way to tie it up and a hell of a goal by a great player in OT.

On his assist:

I knew we were getting kind of late in the period. I just had a sense, I had to step into some open ice. When you see Mitch [Marner] with the puck, he’s going to have a good sense of where everyone is at. Once I got it I kind of knew I was kind of past the point of putting it on net so I just tried to hope there was a trailer coming in. I know [Hyman] parks himself there all the time. It was great to see [Gardiner] get up there and finish it off.

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