December 18, 2019 / 2:51 AM / a month ago

Matthews scores twice as Maple Leafs hang on to defeat Sabres

Auston Matthews scored two goals and the Toronto Maple Leafs held on to defeat the visiting Buffalo Sabres 5-3 Tuesday night.

Dec 17, 2019; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Maple Leafs forward Frederik Gauthier (33) is greeted by teammates at the bench after scoring against Buffalo Sabres in the first period at Scotiabank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

Frederik Gauthier added a goal and an assist, Dmytro Timashov scored a goal and Ilya Mikheyev had a short-handed empty-net goal for Toronto. Tyson Barrie added two assists.

Frederik Andersen made 27 saves for the Maple Leafs, who are 8-4 under new coach Sheldon Keefe.

Jack Eichel and Rasmus Dahlin each had a goal and an assist for Buffalo and Kyle Okposo scored a goal. Victor Olofsson had two assists.

Eichel extended his points streak to 17 games with 16 goals and 15 assists in that span.

Linus Ullmark made 28 saves for Buffalo.

Gauthier scored his fourth goal of the season at 2:30 of the first period after the Maple Leafs took advantage of a Buffalo turnover in the neutral zone and Timashov carried the puck into the Sabres zone. Buffalo defenseman Brandon Montour tried to clear the puck, but it was intercepted by Gauthier in the slot.

Matthews notched his 20th goal this season at 4:47 of the second period on a wrist shot from the left faceoff circle from a pass by Morgan Rielly.

After taking a pass from William Nylander, Matthews put on a couple of nifty moves before tucking in a backhand at 17:39 of the second for his 21st goal.

Dahlin scored his second goal of the season on a slap shot at 1:29 of the third period during a power play. John Tavares was serving a holding-the-stick penalty.

Timashov scored his third goal of the season on a breakaway at 4:58 of the third.

Eichel scored his 24th goal of the season at 6:30 of the third on a shot from the right circle.

Buffalo cut the lead to one on Okposo’s fourth goal this season at 14:41 of the third.

The Sabres had a power play when Zach Hyman was called for holding at 15:31. Mikheyev scored his sixth goal at 17:26.

—Field Level Media

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