TORONTO — Mitch Marner and the Maple Leafs threw more misery on the sabers.
The winger — including a simple setup to seal the playoff game 3-0 in the first half — helped push his points streak to 12 games as Toronto beat Buffalo 5-2 on Saturday to extend their losing streak against the Atlantic Division rival. eight.
“Do mine as usual,” said Marner, who hit a 13-game winning streak last season. “I try to be on the outside, I try to be the best I can be.
“I am fortunate to have great people who put pucks in the net and put me in places where I can do the same.”
Marner, who scored three goals and 14 assists during his exciting career, is only the second player in franchise history to score points in 12 consecutive games as many times, joining Lorne Carr (14 games in 1942-43 and 13 games in 1943-44).
“His hockey sense is out of this world,” said Toronto soccer player Matt Murray. “It’s unbelievable.”
William Nylander scored twice, while John Tavares had two assists, and Cal Yarncrook and Mark Giordano provided the rest of the offense for Toronto (10-5-4).
Murray made 32 saves as the Leafs improved 6-1-2 over the last nine.
“Defensively I think we were exceptional,” said Toronto coach Sheldon Keefe. “Between the way we defended and the way Matt Murray played in goal, we were a tough team to beat.”
Alex Tosh and Casey Mittelstadt answered Buffalo (7-11-0), who haven’t had a place in the standings since November 2. Drifted out of the AHL with Eric Comrie (lower body injury).
“You have to be competitive,” said Sabers coach Don Granato, whose team won three of four of the Leafs in 2021-22. “We didn’t have enough players competing hard enough in the beginning.
“That was the difference.”
Toronto opened the scoring at 12:58 of the first when Marner’s powerful shot tipped Tavares a tenth goal from the lead before Yarnkrok made it 2-0 at 17:27 with his fourth.
Sword took the man advantage late in the period, but Marner ran the other way on a breakaway before making a pass to Giordano. Toch grabbed the net in a desperate attempt to get back before the ball was stolen over the line by a Toronto defender.
Giordano’s 2022-23 opener was initially denied – with Tuch assessing a kick late in the game – but the streak was deemed an ‘imminent scoring opportunity’ after a video review as the Leafs built a 3-0 advantage at just 5:23.
“Honestly, I was waiting for the rebound,” said Giordano, who scored the 13th goal of his career, tying Chris Chelios for the fifth time.
The 39-year-old had an idea the seemingly unlucky tackle was coming after Marner made a similar move last season when he led defender Seattle Kraken.
“You buried me for this flaw,” Giordano said with a smile. “I expected that (Saturday). Great game.”
Buffalo got one back from the power play at 10:01 of the second on a big ninth wing deflection by Murray, who hit the blue-and-white’s first home run, and the Forts held on for the other Swordsman’s advantage.
Nylander restored the three-goal advantage for Toronto at 14:50 in a powerhouse game when he swept the ninth from the crease and added another goal at 10:37 of the third to make it 5-1 on a sweet tune feeding Tavares.
“Unreal,” Nylander said. “I looked into space and wished he could turn it around.”
Mittelstadt finished the score with a solid fifth in a game at 15:07 on a night when Buffalo offered little when the game was at hand.
Keefe said: “At the age of five and five, they had almost nothing. It’s as good as we were.”
Owen Bauer has nine assists in 18 games as the 2021 first draft pick navigates his first full NHL season.
After skiing on a Saturday morning, the Mississauga, Ont., resident said what opened his eyes most was the travel and busy schedule after wearing nearly twice a week in the USHL and NCAA over the past four years.
“She’s still adjusting,” Bauer said. “How do I feel, how much work do I do, how much rest do I get.”
Strong in the defensive duo alongside Rasmus Dahlin, Granato said the 19-year-old was like a sponge.
“Very good and consistent in learning and application,” said Granato. “He understands what’s going on.
“He adapts and adapts very quickly.”
Leafs: Host New York City on Monday.
Sabers: Visit Montreal on Tuesday.
This report from The Canadian Press was first published on November 19, 2022.
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