Samsonov Made 34 Saves in 13th Career Shutout, Matthews Scores 60th vs. Buffalo Sabres | 3/30/2024

Photo: Jeffrey T. Barnes

Toronto secured their second straight win after a 6-3 loss against the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday. The Maple Leafs were able to shutout the Buffalo Sabres 3-0 on Saturday, March 30th and Ilya Samsonov recorded his third shutout of the season, making a total of 34 saves for Toronto. Auston Matthews scored his league-leading 60th goal of the season to reach the 60-goal mark for the second time in his NHL career. He previously did so in the 2021-22 season when he recorded 60 goals in 73 games. It was an unfortunate loss for the Sabres after they had a 5-2 victory against the Devils on Friday following a 6-2 loss against the Ottawa Senators on March 27th. The Maple Leafs hope to continue their win streak on Monday when they host the Florida Panthers.

Maple Leafs lineup against the Sabres:

Bertuzzi – Matthews – Domi

McMann – Tavares – Nylander

Knies – Holmberg – Robertson

Dewar – Kampf – Reaves

Brodie – Lyubushkin

Benoit – McCabe

Giordano – Timmins

Samsonov

Woll

Sabres lineup against the Maple Leafs:

Peterka – Thompson – Tuch

Benson – Cozens – Quinn

Greenway – Krebs – Skinner

Girgensons – Jost – Olofsson

Dahlin – Power

Byram – Jokiharju

Bryson – Clifton

Luukkonen

Levi

   John Tavares gave the Maple Leafs a 1-0 lead at 15:02 of the first frame for his 24th goal of the season. He had beaten Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen glove side with a wrist shot after he took a centering pass from William Nylander to the high slot, who sent it backhanded inside the blue line to Tavares. It had been the only goal scored in the opening frame, and Toronto had been outshot by Buffalo 10-8.

   Early into the second period at 17:26, Nicholas Robertson made it a 2-0 lead for the Maple Leafs when he had taken a pass from Matthew Knies on the rush and from the left hashmarks, scored five-hole for his 11th goal of the season and his second in the past four games. The middle frame also had been another one-goal frame, and the Sabres outshot the Maple Leafs again 8-6.

   Auston Matthews struck an absolutely beautiful goal for his league-leading 60th of the season late into the third at 5:37. Matthews collected a loose puck on the doorstep, pushing it to 3-0 for the final.

Auston Matthews on his 60th and the crowd chanting afterward: “It means a lot – It’s as much as a team accomplishment in my opinion, as an individual one. It’s always a fun atmosphere here with all the blue and white in the stands. Definitely pretty cool,” – “I’ve heard it the last couple of games. I just try to stay focused and go out there, and play my game. I feel like in the last couple of games, I had plenty of really good chances, just not all of them gone in. I know I just got to stay with it and keep shooting. Obviously fortunate for that kind of play at my feet here.”

Notes:

– John Tavares had played in his 1,100th NHL career game, and T.J. Brodie played in his 900th NHL career game.

  Tavares currently has 1,033 career points (451 goals, 582 assists) and passed Nicklas Backstrom for the fifth-most points among all active players through their 1,100th game.

  Brodie had three blocked shots in his 900th career game in 22:59 of ice time.

– Auston Matthews became the ninth player in NHL history with two or more 60-goal seasons, and he joined Mike Bossy (five), Wayne Gretzky (five), Phil Esposito (four), Mario Lemieux (four), Brett Hull (three), Pavel Bure (two), Jari Kurri (two), and Steve Yzerman (two).

– Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen made a total of 19 saves for Buffalo.

– Alex Tuch’s seven-game point streak had been put to an end… ending at one goal and nine assists.

– JJ Peterka’s four-game goal streak had also been put to an end.

Thank You ARI for the 65 Goal Scorer Leafs Late Night

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