Ryan O’Reilly scored the first two goals for his new squad, on the way to a 6-3 rout of the Buffalo Sabres on the road. The Maple Leafs improved their NHL regular season record to 35-15-8 and currently have a stronghold on the 2nd seed in the Atlantic Division with 78 points. Toronto have had an up and down couple of weeks, going 6-4-0 in their last 10 games.
The big news from the night was Ryan O’Reilly, who scored his first two goals in Maple Leafs’ uniform on his first two shots of the game. The goals came just 37 seconds apart from each other in the first period and were topped off by an open netter late in the third for a hat trick.
The Leafs acquired O’Reilly and Noel Acciari from the St. Louis Blues on 17th of February in a three-team trade that also involved the Minnesota Wild. This was his third game with the team and had managed an assist in his first two outings with the Leafs prior to Tuesday’s game in Buffalo.
Mitch Marner had a career-high five assists, while John Taveres chipped in with a goal and three assists. The Leafs built a 5-0 which was trimmed down by the Sabres to 5-3 late in the third but eventually was too little too late.
With O’Reilly in the mix, the Leafs will be looking to make a big push for the end of the season. While the Boston Bruins seem well ahead of the race for the top position in the East, the second position could end up being a battle between Toronto, Carolina and New Jersey.
Who’s Up Next for the Leafs?
Next up for the Leafs will be the Minnesota Wild on Friday night back at the Scotiabank Arena. The Wild are sitting in the middle of the pack in the Western Conference and should provide a competitive matchup for Toronto. The leafs will be looking to get a winning streak going as we head into the backend of the season, cementing their position as a top seed for the postseason.
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