Auston Matthews kept his points streak going Rasheem Green Color Rush Jersey , and William Nylander was the main reason why.
The two each had two goals and an assist as the playoff-bound Toronto Maple Leafs beat the Buffalo Sabres 5-2 on Monday night.
Andreas Johnsson also scored as Maple Leafs extended a franchise record with their 48th win and matched the team mark for points (103) set in 2003-04.
Matthews has five goals and 10 points during his seven-game streak to give him 60 points in 60 games. Meanwhile, Nylander is up to 59 points. They trail only Mitch Marner (69) in team scoring with two regular-season games remaining.
”I feel like we’ve had (chemistry) since we started playing with each other last year and especially with (Zach) Hyman as well,” Matthews said. ”The more you play with somebody, obviously, you build more chemistry and get to know them and have a feel for where they’re going to be in certain areas. We definitely showed that tonight.
Backup goalie Curtis McElhinney stopped 32 shots to help Toronto win for the 15th time in the last 17 at home while getting their 28th win at the Air Canada Centre.
”Home’s been pretty good to us and we feel we have an advantage when we step into the arena here,” Matthews said.
Sam Reinhart got his career-high 24th goal for the last-place Sabres, and Jason Pominville also scored. Chad Johnson finished with 31 saves.
Buffalo came into the game following a 7-4 win Saturday at Nashville.
”You think you’re heading in the right direction and then you take a step back,” Pominville said.
Matthews broke a 1-1 tie on the power play at 5:01 of the second period as he scored top shelf on Johnson from just inside the faceoff circle.
Nylander made it 3-1 on a breakaway at 7:39 after Matthews caught Buffalo on a bad line change and made a stretch pass ahead to the streaking Swede, who broke in alone to beat Johnson glove side.
Nylander added his second of the period for a three-goal lead http://www.redskinsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-troy-apke-jersey , going backand-to-forehand before snapping it under the bar for his 19th a little less than three minutes later.
”I thought the first period was pretty good, then we tied it up with the power-play goal,” Sabres coach Phil Housley said. ”Then we didn’t manage the puck very well, get caught on a line change and game gets out of reach. (The Leafs) have a terrific rush game and can finish.”
The Sabres pulled to 4-2 with their second power-play goal 2:56 into the third when Pominville put home a rebound for his 14th.
Matthews made it 5-2 with his second power-play goal of the game, finishing off a Nylander pass for his 33rd goal and 60th point in 60 games.
Johnsson opened the scoring at 5:44 of the first when he deflected a pass from Tomas Plekanec past Johnson.
Buffalo had its opportunities to put a goal on the board before the period was through with Toronto defenseman Roman Polak taking back-to-back high sticking penalties – including a double minor – but the Sabres couldn’t get much going.
Polak had 5:37 of ice time in the first, a secondary assist on Johnsson’s goal and six minutes in high-sticking penalties.
The Sabres began the second period with more than three minutes remaining in Polak’s double minor and finally took advantage when Reinhart deflected Rasmus Ristolainen’s point shot past McElhinney to tie it at 2:27.
NOTES: Toronto’s 103 points 14 years ago came before the NHL started using shootouts to decide games tied after overtime. The Maple Leafs have seven shootout wins this season. … McElhinney made rare back-to-back starts, with coach Mike Babcock choosing to give starter Frederik Andersen some extra rest. Andersen has faced the most shots of any goalie this season and is third in minutes played. … Toronto F Leo Komarov was out of the lineup for personal reasons. He was replaced by Matt Martin.
Sabres: Host Ottawa on Wednesday night in their final home game before finishing with two on the road.
Maple Leafs: At New Jersey on Thursday night before returning home to close the regular season.
The first one deserved a sequel, which Cleveland won in the biggest comeback in NBA Finals history to even things up with Golden State.
Then with Kevin Durant joining Stephen Curry on one side and LeBron James leading the other, the Warriors and Cavaliers sent interest soaring as they rampaged toward the tiebreaker last season.
But the rubber match was a mismatch http://www.steelersauthorizedshops.com/authentic-terrell-edmunds-jersey , and the Warriors are expected to win just as easily this time.
So as Round 4 of the record-setting rivalry begins Thursday night, has Warriors-Cavaliers become too much of a good thing?
”I don’t think so,” Golden State guard Klay Thompson said. ”I think the rest of the NBA has got to get better. It’s not our fault. I’m sure if you asked the fans of the Warriors and the Cavs around the world, whether it’s in the Bay Area or in Cleveland, I’m sure they’re happy with their team performance. The only people I hear saying that are fans from other teams, which is natural. I don’t blame them. But as long as our fan base is happy, that’s all that matters.”
It’s the first time in NBA, NFL, MLB or NHL history that the same teams are meeting four straight times in the championship round http://www.cowboysauthorizedshops.com/authentic-jihad-ward-jersey , and intrigue in the teams hasn’t waned yet. The NBA had its most-watched conference finals since 2012, as both teams had to rally from 3-2 deficits to win Game 7s on the road.
But if this series quickly becomes as lopsided as some fear – ABC analyst Jeff Van Gundy said he couldn’t remember a bigger gap between finals teams and said any game the Cavs win is a huge upset – many of those people who have tuned in the last few years might be looking for something else to watch by the time the series switches to Cleveland.
”If James and the Cavaliers win Game 1, you know, the interest is going to skyrocket because they are going to have done what very few – except for them maybe – think they can do, which is win at Golden State,” Van Gundy said. ”If they get blown out both games, it doesn’t matter what we say. People aren’t going to be as excited.”
The players won’t apologize for showing up again, or worry that it hurts the NBA.
”I mean, it may not be as suspenseful as a lot of people want it to be or as drama-filled Logan Paulsen Color Rush Jersey ,” Durant said, ”but that’s what you’ve got movies and music for.”
Some things to watch when the series begins at Oracle Arena:
BE LIKE MIKE
If the Warriors win, it would be their sixth NBA championship and tie them for third on the all-time list with the Chicago Bulls, who won all theirs with Michael Jordan. Then it would be a long way to go from there to catch Boston (17) or the Lakers (16).
MOVING ON UP
James could vault into second place on the NBA Finals’ career lists for points and assists. He has 1,247 points and needs 71 to pass Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (1,317) and move behind only Jerry West (1,679). His 339 assists are 61 behind Bob Cousy (400). Magic Johnson had 584.
While matching up on the court, James and Durant could flip-flop on the career postseason scoring list. James currently has a slight edge, with his 28.83 points per game placing him fourth and slightly ahead of Durant http://www.ramsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-john-kelly-jersey , who has averaged 28.75. Durant has been even better in the NBA Finals, with his 32.9 points per game ranking last year’s finals MVP behind only Rick Barry (36.3) and Jordan (33.6) among players who have appeared in at least 10 games.
DOING IT WITH DEFENSE
The much-maligned Cavaliers’ defense has shown up in the postseason, where Cleveland is allowing just 99.9 points per game, second among the 16 teams. The Cavs held Boston under 100 points in four of the final five games of the East finals. More impressively, Golden State kept high-scoring Houston under 100 in five straight games and is right behind Cleveland at 100.3 in the playoffs.
Viewers will notice something new on the court during the series. The familiar NBA Finals logo has been replaced and the floor will now be marked with one that reads ”The Finals presented by YouTube TV.”