Auston Matthews Scores 54th in OT, 2-1 Against Buffalo Sabres | 3/6/2024

Photo: Nathan Denette via The Canadian Press

The Maple Leafs handed the Buffalo Sabres their second straight loss when they played in Toronto at the Scotiabank Arena on Wednesday, March 6th. After a 4-1 loss against the Boston Bruins on Monday, it was a good 2-1 overtime victory for the Maple Leafs. Auston Matthews scored his 54th league-leading goal in overtime after Mitch Marner set it up.

Sabres lineup against the Maple Leafs:

Skinner – Thompson – Tuch

Greenway – Cozens – Peterka

Benson – Krebs – Olofsson

Robinson – Girgensons – Okposo

Dahlin – Jokiharju

Power – Bryson

Johnson – Clifton

Luukkonen

Comrie

Maple Leafs lineup against the Sabres:

Knies – Matthews – Marner

Bertuzzi – Domi – Nylander

McMann – Tavares – Jarnkrok

Gregor – Kampf – Reaves

Brodie – Liljegren

Reilly – Lyubushkin

Benoit – Lagesson

Samsonov

Woll

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   The opening 20 minutes remained scoreless… Buffalo had no shots on goal until later in the first period and ended up outshooting the Maple Leafs 10-6.

   Early into the second period at 17:31, William Nylander opened the scoring to get Toronto a 1-0 lead. After receiving a pass from Tyler Bertuzzi, who had been behind the net, Nylander shot from the slot for his 34th goal of the season. Victor Olofsson put Buffalo on the board at 13:29 to tie it 1-1 when he got the puck over Ilya Samsonov’s glove from the left face-off dot. Throughout the rest of the middle frame, the score remained the same, as well as the third.

   Auston Matthews wrapped it up with only 40 seconds remaining in overtime for the 2-1 final. Mitch Marner set it up for Matthews, sending him a great pass for his 51st assist of the season, and Matthews shot from the slot blocker side for his league-leading 54th goal.

Auston Matthews on his overtime winner and playing against the Buffalo Sabres: “I just tried to find a quiet area there and Mitch made a really nice play obviously losing his guy a little bit, and I just kind of got in between the two guys in front of the net and he made a beautiful pass to me. I just tried to sneak it around the defenseman and by the goalie as much as possible and I was lucky for it to go in,” – “It was not too much of a topic of conversation but obviously something you keep in the back of your mind because the last time we played them, it got out of hand and probably one of our worst outings of the year. You can’t change the past, just have to put our best foot forward and with another opportunity against them tonight, it’s nice to get the extra point there. They played hard, they played tight defensively, and there wasn’t a whole lot there on either side. These are the kinds of games we need to be comfortable in.”

William Nylander on Ilya Samsonov and Tyler Bertuzzi’s pass: “He was a wall out there – made huge saves in overtime and during the game. He stopped a lot and he kept us in the game for sure,” – “That was a beautiful pass. He found me all alone in the slot, so that was a nice connection there.”

Notes:

– Ilya Samsonov made 24 saves for Toronto, and Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen made 25 saves for Buffalo.

   Samsonov made a great glove save in overtime on Tage Thompson.

– Jake McCabe was unable to play due to illness… there was no confirmation by Sheldon Keefe if McCabe would be available to play against the Boston Bruins on Thursday.

– Noah Gregor played 9:02 in his first game after being a healthy scratch and missing the previous six games. He was also minus-1 and had two shots.

– Victor Olofsson had been a healthy scratch the previous nine games until there was a spot open for him in the lineup when the Buffalo Sabres traded Casey Mittelstadt to the Colorado Avalanche on Wednesday, March 6th.

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Genevive Oliver

I'm a 17-year-old writer and a beginner photographer! I'm a huge hockey, baseball, boxing, and basketball fan.

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