Eichel scores twice, but Maple Leafs defeat Sabres 4-3 in OT

Auston Matthews scores twice for Toronto, including the game winner

Pat Malacaro
December 04, 2018 - 7:39 pm

Photo: Kevin Hoffman - USA TODAY Sports


Jack Eichel scored twice in the third period for the Buffalo Sabres, but Auston Matthews' second goal of the night gave the Toronto Maple Leafs a 4-3 overtime win on Tuesday night at KeyBank Center.

Buffalo out-shot the Maple Leafs 14-7 in the first period, with both goaltenders being up to the task. Linus Ullmark stopped all seven Toronto shots, while Frederik Andersen made all 14 saves.

Neither team was called for a penalty in the opening stanza either, with both teams rushing end-to-end.

Zach Bogosian led all skaters with 8:54 of ice time in the opening frame. Rasmus Dahlin also was on the ice for more than eight minutes for the blue and gold.

Matthews broke the scoreless tie nearly halfway through the middle stanza with his 14th goal of the season. The former first overall pick took the puck out of the air from behind the net, settled it down and backhanded the wrap around shot under Ullmark to give Toronto a 1-0 lead. Ron Hainsey was credited with the lone assist on the game's first goal.

Buffalo was able to tie the score at 1-1 with under six minutes to go in the period with a deflection in front of the net. Nathan Beaulieu took the initial shot from the blue line that found its way past Andersen. Sam Reinhart was able to get his stick on the puck for his eighth goal of the season, with Beaulieu and Rasmus Ristolainen being given the assists.

Jake Gardiner restored the Maple Leafs' lead to 2-1 with a goal with under 10-seconds to go in the period. John Tavares and Mitch Marner assisted on the goal. 

The Sabres converted on a broken play early in the third period to re-tie the game. Jack Eichel slammed home a one-time pass from Ristolainen for his sixth goal of the year and tied the game at 2-2. Ristolainen was able to find the loose puck in the offensive zone, and received an assist, along with Jeff Skinner.

Tage Thompson was penalized almost halfway through the third to give Toronto the man advantage. It was the forward's second hooking minor penalty of the night. He negated a power play in the middle stanza while breaking up a breakaway attempt by Zach Hyman. Patrick Marleau canceled out the power play with an interference minor for Toronto.

Eichel's second goal of the period gave the blue and gold their first lead of the night. It was another broken play that Buffalo converted in the offensive zone, with the captain weaving through the middle of the ice in the slot to beat Andersen. Reinhart was credited with the lone assist.

However, Marleau scored at the side of the net minutes later to tie the game 3-3 with about five minutes to go in regulation. His seventh goal of the year was assisted by Morgan Rielly and Matthews.

In the dying seconds of overtime, it was Matthews who wristed a shot over the glove of Ullmark to give Toronto the 4-3 win. Kasperi Kapanen made the pass to help setup the game-winning goal, while Gardiner also assisted on the score.



Goal Summary:

First Period:


Second Period:

BUF: 14:01 - Sam Reinhart (8) (Nathan Beaulieu, Rasmus Ristolainen)
TOR: 8:33 - Auston Matthews (14) (Ron Hainsey); 19:50 - Jake Gardiner (John Tavares, Mitch Marner)

Third Period:

BUF: 2:39 - Jack Eichel (6) (Rasmus Ristolainen, Jeff Skinner); 12:57 - Jack Eichel (7) (Sam Reinhart)
TOR: 14:47 - Patrick Marleau (7) (Morgan Rielly, Auston Matthews)


TOR: 4:57 - Auston Matthews (15) (Kasperi Kapanen, Jake Gardiner)


Penalty Summary:

First Period:


Second Period:

BUF: 11:39 - Tage Thompson (Hooking - 2 min.)
TOR: 11:19 - Connor Brown (Interference - 2 min.)

Third Period

BUF: 7:16 - Tage Thompson (Hooking - 2 min.)
TOR: 8:44 - Patrick Marleau (Interference - 2 min.)



Shots on Goal

BUF: 41 (14, 12, 11, 4)
TOR: 30 (7, 10, 11, 2)


BUF: Linus Ullmark - 26 saves
TOR: Frederik Andersen - 38 saves

Power Plays:

BUF: 0 for 2 (0%)
TOR: 0 for 2 (0%)

Three Stars:

  1. Auston Matthews - TOR
  2. Jack Eichel - BUF
  3. Rasmus Ristolainen - BUF

What's Next:

The Sabres will stay home to welcome the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday afternoon. The puck drops at one o'clock on the flagship home of the Sabres Radio Network - WGR Sports Radio 550, starting with the pre-game show at noon.

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