TORONTO — Mitch Marner and the Maple Leafs have been piling extra distress on the slumping Sabres.
The winger had two assists, together with a shorthanded 3-0 objective within the first interval, that prolonged his level streak to 12 video games as Toronto beat Buffalo 5-2 on Saturday to increase its shedding streak to its Atlantic Division rival. eight.
“He is doing me like he at all times does,” mentioned Marner, who had a 13-point streak final season. “Attempting to make a splash on the market, making an attempt to be one of the best.
“Fortunately, good guys put some pucks within the web and acquired me in spots the place I might do the identical.”
With three objectives and 14 assists, Marner joined Lorne Carr because the second participant in franchise historical past to attain in 12 straight video games (14 video games in 1942-43 and 13 video games in 1943) 44).
“His hockey sense is simply off the charts,” Toronto netminder Matt Murray mentioned. “He is unbelievable.”
William Nylander had two objectives, whereas John Tavares had a objective and two assists from Calle Jarnkrok and Mark Giordano for Toronto (10-5-4).
The Leafs improved to 6-1-2 of their final 9 video games, with Murray recording 32 saves.
“Defensively, I assumed we have been particular,” Toronto head coach Sheldon Keefe mentioned. “Between the way in which we defended after which Matt Murray scoring, we have been a tricky group to beat.”
Alex Tuch and Casey Mittelstadt answered for Buffalo (7-11-0), which hasn’t scored some extent since Nov. 2. Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen stopped 18 photographs in his first begin of the season and pulled away from the champions. With Eric Comrie (decrease physique harm) out of the AHL.
“Competitors is essential,” mentioned Sabers head coach Don Granato, whose group took three of 4 video games from the Leafs in 2021-22. “To start with, we did not have sufficient guys who competed onerous sufficient.
“That was the distinction.”
Toronto opened the scoring at 12:58 on a strong shot by Marner off Tavares, the captain’s tenth objective, and Jarnkrok made it 2-0 along with his fourth at 17:27.
On the finish of the interval, the Sabers went to the person benefit, however Marner raced to the alternative finish and returned Giordano’s go. Tuch desperately cleared the web from his personal objective earlier than a Toronto defender threw the ball over the objective line.
Giordano’s first sport of 2022-23 ended — Tuch was assessed a delay-of-game penalty — however the Leafs constructed a 3-0 benefit with simply 5:23 left, and a video evaluate mentioned the sequence was a “shut scoring alternative.” .
“Truthfully, I used to be ready for the rebound,” mentioned Giordano, who scored his thirteenth profession shorthanded objective, tied with Chris Chelios for fifth all-time.
After Marner made an analogous transfer final season when the defenseman was captain of the Seattle Kraken, the 39-year-old additionally realized that meals was popping out of nowhere.
“I used to be buried at minus one,” Giordano mentioned with a smile. “I used to be anticipating it (Saturday). Nice sport.”
Buffalo acquired one again on a wing play within the ninth after Tuch’s foul at 10:01 of the second, and Murray, who earned his first win at dwelling in blue and white, held down the fort on one other Sabers benefit.
Nylander restored Toronto’s three-goal benefit at 14:50 on the ability play, sweeping the ninth from the crease and including one other at 10:37 to make it 5-1 on a candy Tavares aerial feed.
“Unreal,” Nylander mentioned. “Trying on the area, I hoped to show it round.”
Mittelstadt capped the scoring with a fifth energy play at 15:07 on an evening when Buffalo supplied little when the sport was shut.
“5-on-5, they have been just about nothing,” Keefe mentioned. “It is nearly as good as we have had earlier than.”
Sabers rookie Owen Energy has 9 assists in 18 video games and the 2021 draft choose is in his first full season within the NHL.
The Mississauga, N.C., native mentioned after Saturday’s morning skate that the most important eye-opener for him after working towards twice every week within the USHL and NCAA for the previous 4 years has been the journey and hectic schedule.
“It nonetheless suits,” Energy mentioned. “How I really feel, how a lot I am working, how a lot I am resting.”
Granato, who owns one of the best defensive duo alongside Rasmus Dahlin, mentioned the 19-year-old is sort of a sponge.
“Superb, dedicated to studying and making use of,” Granato mentioned. “He absorbs what is going on on.
“He adapts and re-acclimates in a short time.”
Leafs: Host the New York Islanders on Monday.
Sabres: Go to Montreal on Tuesday.
This report was first printed by The Canadian Press on November 19, 2022.
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