Maple Leafs beat Sabres 4-2, close in on playoff spot

Rookies scored four of Toronto’s goals in a 5-4 victory over the Detroit Red Wings and the Maple Leafs edged closer to their first playoff appearance since the lockout-shortened 2012-13 season.

The Maple Leafs and their fans were loud and proud Monday night in KeyBank Center. Additionally, Matthews would need to see Marchand, Kucherov and Tarasenko also fail to accumulate many more goals. His career best is 61 points and with four games left on the docket, the former second overall pick has a great chance of setting a new career high.

“The atmosphere has been great every time I’ve been part of coaching a team in this building, against the Leafs, the atmosphere has been great”, said Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill.

The Maple Leafs are now 39-24-15 on the season and are in the midst of a serious run, winning five games in a row and going 8-1-1 in their last 10 games and 11-2-1 over their last 14. “We weren’t skating”, Matthews said.

“It wasn’t easy to take, obviously”, forward Jordan Staal said.

With the 4-2 win, Matthews and the Leafs sit alone in second place in the Atlantic Division.

The Maple Leafs have their eyes on making the playoffs. “Those are tough, but I think we battled hard back and made it a game all the way up to the end there”.

Nazem Kadri scored a power-play goal for Toronto in the third period, and Jack Eichel got one for Buffalo in the final minute.

Robin Lehner was pulled after allowing three Toronto goals on three shots on goal in a 43 second span. Lehner was replaced nub anders Nilsson. That’s an improvement over what we saw in the last few games, although it should be noted the Sabres were in a back-to-back situation. He was tabbed as a franchise player before the 2016 draft and got Leafs Nation thinking the previously unthinkable when Toronto won the right to choose him first overall; in the ensuing months, Matthews has made the rest of the National Hockey League understand what he is capable of accomplishing through the next decade and beyond.

By definition, the Maple Leafs should not be getting a road per diem these days.

Both were depth additions the Capitals hoped would help give them an edge in the playoffs.

The three goals in the first period for Toronto began at the 4:26 mark, as Komarov gave Toronto their first tally.

Not to be outdone, Marner has hit the 60 point plateau as well.

Then at 17:34, Leafs left winger James van Riemsdyk located a deflected puck in front and backhanded it past Howard, giving him his 25th goal and Toronto a 4-3 lead late in the 3rd period. He went most of March without a point, recording his first one on Wednesday in Colorado when he scored an empty-net goal. They did grab the early lead, when Frans Nielsen backed the Leafs off on a rush and dropped to Gus Nyquist for a high snap.

Matthews has scored a goal in five straight games as Toronto jockey for positioning in the Eastern Conference play-off race.

The only conclusion that we can draw here is that Matthews has been the best goal scorer in the National Hockey League this season.

Much like the Bruins game on Tuesday, the Predators did not start well.

While the Maple Leafs’ probability of missing the postseason is miniscule at this point, they’re still not officially in.

Before we get to about that assist from Willie Nylander on the Auston Matthews goal?

NOTES: Matthews scored in his 78th game to surpass Neal Broten, who scored 38 goals in 73 games for the Minnesota North Stars in 1981-82.

Matthews also set a record for the most goals by a USA -born rookie.

Maple Leafs