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Leafs strike first in battle of QEW thanks to Matthews’ late game heroics

The Toronto Maple Leafs defeated the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday night by a final score of 4-3 in overtime.

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Lucas Viveiros | Report

Thanks to Auston Matthews’ game winning goal with 2.7 seconds left in overtime, the Toronto Maple Leafs defeated the Buffalo Sabres 4-3 in exciting fashion on Tuesday evening. 

KeyBank Center was rocking from puck drop, with the crowd relatively split 50/50 between the Leafs and Sabres faithful. Chants of “Let’s go Buffalo” and “Go Leafs Go” echoed throughout the evening, with the fans battling it out to inspire their teams to victory.

The first period saw some chances for both clubs, but ultimately no results, as both teams went to the locker room goalless after 20 minutes of play.

Toronto would find the breakthrough midway through the second however, as Auston Matthews would make an unbelievable play by jumping and catching the puck behind the Sabres goal, and finishing on a tight wraparound to make it 1-0 Maple Leafs.

Matthews never lost sight of the puck, and added to his torrent goal pace with his 14th goal in 14 games.

Buffalo would find their response with six minutes to play in the second, when Nathan Beaulieu floated one on goal and got the tip from Sabres forward Sam Reinhart to knought the game at one.

The tie wouldn’t last long though, as the Buds were able to restore their lead before the end of the second, when the Sabres were caught puck watching Mitch Marner. On the play, John Tavares would be open to receive a pass and blindly drop it in front for the on rushing Gardiner, who scored his second of the season to make it 2-1 Toronto with just under 10 seconds to play in the period.

Buffalo’s own American superstar would wake up in the third, as Jack Eichel would tie the game just 2:39 into the period, when Ristolainen would spot him wide open in his wheelhouse, leaving Andersen with no chance on the goal.

John Tavares would attempt to respond halfway through the third, as he was sent all alone on a breakaway but couldn’t get it by the glove hand of Sabres goaltender Linus Ullmark, who made a brilliant stop.

The save would spark the Sabres, and Jack Eichel would register another marker, this time with just north of seven minutes to play in regulation. On the goal, poor defensive zone coverage would give Eichel way more time and space than he typically needs, and he would roof the puck over the glove of Frederik Andersen to put Buffalo ahead 3-2.

Toronto would begin to push the pace of play back in their favour, and it would pay off under two minutes after the Eichel go ahead goal.

With just more than five minutes to play, Patrick Marleau would register the game tying goal, banking the puck off of Ullmark and in, forcing overtime.

The overtime period would be mainly controlled by the Sabres, as they dominated puck possession, but there weren’t an overwhelming amount of chances for either squad in the extra period.

But as superstars typically do, Auston Matthews would shine in the big moment, rushing up the ice with winger Kasperi Kapanen with under 10 seconds to play in overtime and eventually rifling a bullet bar down and in to get the Leafs the two points with only 2.7 seconds left on the game clock.

Matthews’ 15th of the season would be the last laugh in the hockey game, and make the final score 4-3 Toronto.

Revisit the game’s highlights below.

Next, Toronto will head home to host Dylan Larkin and the Detroit Red Wings on Thursday night.

Puck drop is set for 7:00pm from Scotiabank Arena, and can be seen on Sportsnet.

More news from the ice

  • The NHL awarded Seattle as the 32nd NHL franchise on Tuesday, with the team set to join the league officially in time for the 2021-2022 season
  • With the victory the Maple Leafs matched a franchise record for fewest games to reach 20 wins (28)
  • Auston Matthews is the first player to score 15 goals in his first 14 games of a season since Simon Gagne accomplished the feat in the 2005-2006 season
  • With the overtime winner, Auston Matthews becomes the seventh player in Maple Leafs history with five career overtime goals
  • Toronto is now 4-0-0 in overtime this season
  • Jack Eichel recorded his eighth career multi-goal game, with three of those now registered against the Maple Leafs

Out of town scoreboard

Tuesday, December 4

Boston 0 Florida 5

Winnipeg 3 NY Islanders 1

Colorado 3 Pittsburgh 6

Calgary 9 Columbus 6

Ottawa 2 Montreal 5

Tampa Bay 6 Detroit 5 (SO)

Minnesota 3 Vancouver 2

Washington 3 Vegas 5

Arizona 2 Los Angeles 1


More coverage to follow. Image from Maple Leafs hot stove. ■

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Davis scores career-high in Raptors win over Bulls

The Toronto Raptors defeated the Chicago Bulls 129-102 on Sunday.

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The Toronto Raptors defeated the Chicago Bulls 129-102 on Sunday.

Toronto shot 56 per cent from the field. Terence Davis recorded a career-high 31 points. He shot 12-15 from the field, including six three-pointers.

Pascal Siakam scored 17 points and had nine rebounds. Serge Ibaka had 16 points, six boards and three blocks.

Chris Boucher had 15 points off the bench, Kyle Lowry had 14 points and six assists. Fred VanVleet scored 14 and had eight dimes.

Thaddeus Young led Chicago scorers with 21 points. Zach LaVine was limited to 18 points, seven rebounds and seven assists.

Sophomore Chandler Hutchinson scored 17 points. Ryan Arcidiacono and Coby White scored 12 points apiece.

Here are some Raptors highlights of the night:

Head coach Nick Nurse was named Eastern Conference coach of the month on Monday.

The Raptors host the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday at Scotiabank Arena.

Tip-off is set for 7:30 p.m.


Featured image from Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press. ■

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Raptors defeat Cleveland to win 9th straight game

The Toronto Raptors beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 115-109 on Thursday.

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The Toronto Raptors beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 115-109 on Thursday.

Kyle Lowry was named an all-star reserve prior to the game, he will participate in the game for a sixth straight time.

Lowry scored 23 points, and had five assists and five rebounds on Thursday. Marc Gasol dealt with a hamstring injury, Serge Ibaka replaced him in the starting five and led Toronto scorers with 26 points.

Pascal Siakam had 19 points and four steals. Norman Powell scored 16 points in 26 minutes of action. Chris Boucher scored 10 points. Fred VanVleet had eight points and 12 assists.

Kevin Love and Collin Sexton scored 23 points apiece for the Cavaliers. Darius Garland had 16 points and eight assists.

Larry Nance Jr. scored 13 points and grabbed 9 boards, while Kevin Porter Jr. also scored 13 points. Brampton native Tristan Thompson had two points and 12 rebounds.

Here are some Raptors highlights of the night:

Toronto ends their back-to-back with a game against the Detroit Pistons on Friday at Little Caesars Arena.

Tip-off is set for 7 p.m.


Featured image from Toronto Raptors. ■

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Raptors hold on for victory in Atlanta

The Toronto Raptors defeated the Atlanta Hawks 122-117 on Tuesday.

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The Toronto Raptors defeated the Atlanta Hawks 122-117 on Tuesday.

A number of NBA teams played afternoon games on Martin Luther King Jr. Day All teams wore special warm-up tops to commemorate the civil rights icon.

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Norman Powell led Raptors scorers with 27 points in 25 minutes of action off the bench. Fred VanVleet scored 20.

Pascal Siakam had 18 points and six rebounds. Marc Gasol had 14 points. Terence Davis scored 12 points. Kyle Lowry had 10 points and seven assists.

Trae Young recorded a double-double, he scored 42 points and had 15 assists. John Collins also recorded a double-double with 17 points and 11 boards.

De’Andre Hunter and Cam Reddish scored 13 points apiece. Bruno Fernando scored 12 points.

Here are some Raptors highlights against the Hawks (which includes a number of three-pointers):

The Raptors host Atlantic division rival Philadelphia 76ers at Scotiabank Arena on Wednesday.

Tip-off is set for 7 p.m.


Featured photo from John Amis/Associated Press. ■

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