Auston Matthews Taking Over Record Book with Win vs Buffalo

Buffalo Sabres v Toronto Maple Leafs
Buffalo Sabres v Toronto Maple Leafs / Claus Andersen/GettyImages

As the Toronto Maple Leafs deal with a flu cutting through their locker room they took down the Buffalo Sabres in overtime on Wednesday night for their first victory against their divisional rival this season.

The Toronto Maple Leafs have been dealing with a sickness throughout the roster which left a couple players out of practice this week and caused Jake McCabe to be scratched from their contest against the Sabres.

After dropping the first two contests with the Sabres this season by allowing a combined 15 goals, including a 9-3 drumming on December 21 in what many players described as their most embarrassing game of the season, the team looked to come out on top Wednesday night.

Which they did, eventually.

William Nylander Picks Up Another Goal

Following a very lack luster first period, William Nylander opened up the scoring early in the second period after some solid forechecking by both Max Domi and Tyler Bertuzzi that allowed the the Maple Leafs top scorer to find himself open in front of the net to bury his 34th goal of the season.

The goal ties Nylander with his second highest output of any season and now sits just six goals from surpassing his career high he set last season.

The lead would be short lived as Victor Olofsson would tie the game just four minutes later. Olofsson came down the left wing and exposed Morgan Rielly's biggest weakness which is his gap control which allowed the Sabres winger to walk right down into the the left side face-off dot and wire a shot to shelf on Ilya Samsonov to tie the game.

Rielly has been the one true star that comes to battle each night, but year after year he gets exposed with his poor gap control, and he needs this fixed before playoffs.

The former fourth overall pick has struggled since returning from suspension as he has been -5 over his last six games which also coincides with the drastic drop off of the teams powerplay that he quarterbacks.

The rest of regulation was a bit of a yawn fest as neither team could muster any type of high danger chances and the game went to overtime where Ilya Samsonov showed off his dazzling glove. Former 47-goal scorer Tage Thompson was able to walk into the slot and fire a shot towards the top corner but was denied by Samsonov's glove hand.

The league's top scorer was able to show off what the a true elite shot was as Auston Matthews buried a goal top blocker side after a superb pass from Mitch Marner to lift the team to victory.

The goal was Matthews 54th goal of the season, which ties Rick Vaive's best season and put the Arizona product as having the two best goal scoring seasons as a Maple Leaf. The notch also gives Matthews a nine-goal lead on Sam Reinhart for the Rocket Richard Trophy race.

The club will need to hope to get healthy as they travel to Boston for a rematch of Monday's game against the Bruins tonight.


The Maple Leafs will look to snap a six game stretch of losses against arguably their biggest rival. Toronto also sits seven points back from home-ice advantage against the Bruins in what looks to be a first round match-up and has two games in hand.