NHL: Auston Matthews’ 60th goal in Maple Leafs’ 3-0 win

Auston Matthews scored his 60th goal of the season to help the Toronto Maple Leafs defeat the Buffalo Sabers 3-0 on Saturday night.

Matthews took advantage of a loose puck near the net to reach the 60-goal mark for the second time in his career. He also scored 60 goals in 73 games during the 2021-2022 season.

The 26-year-old American joins a select group with a 60-goal sophomore campaign. He is the ninth player in history to achieve this feat of arms after Mike Bossy (5), Wayne Gretzky (5), Phil Esposito (4), Mario Lemieux (4), Brett Hull (3), Pavel Bure (2) , Jari Kurri (2) and Steve Yzerman (2). Matthews is, therefore, the only active player with more than one 60-goal season.

Ilya Samsonov got off to a great start in front of the Leafs cage. The Russian goalkeeper stopped all 34 pucks aimed at him to sign his third shutout of the season. He is the first Leafs goaltender since Andrew Raycroft in 2007 to record a shutout in Buffalo.

John Tavares and Nicholas Robertson also scored for Toronto. Tavares took advantage of a good delivery from William Nylander to score his 24th goal of the season and open the scoring in the first half. Robertson beat Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen with a low shot to give his team a two-goal lead. Luukkonen stopped just 19 pucks in the loss.

The meeting ended in uproar in Buffalo. Matthews, TJ Brodie, Bobby McMann, Tyler Bertuzzi and Mark Giordano were charged with misconduct with 56 seconds left in the game. Rasmus Dahlin, Alex Tuch, JJ Peterka, Tage Thompson, Owen Power and Jordan Greenway were also shown the exit door before the end of the 60 minutes.

Hawks push Flyers down the standings

Connor Bedard had an assist to stay atop rookie scoring this season in the Chicago Blackhawks’ 5-1 win over the Philadelphia Flyers.

Philipp Kurashev, Joey Anderson and Lukas Reichel scored a goal and had an assist in the win. Nick Foligno and MacKenzie Entwistle also made moves for the Blackhawks, who were second-to-last in the National Hockey League standings entering this game.

Arvid Soderblom to block 30 tirs.

Tyson Foerster answered for the Flyers and Samuel Ersson made 19 saves, who suffered their fourth consecutive loss.

This season was supposed to be part of the Flyers’ rebuilding process, but under the leadership of head coach John Tortorella, they created an upset and were able to participate in the playoffs.

With the point achieved by the Washington Capitals in overtime, the Flyers are in last place giving access to the Eastern Association playoffs.

Bruins limit Caps to one point

Hampus Lindholm scored a goal, prevented another at the other end and the Boston Bruins defeated the Washington Capitals in a shootout in a preview of a possible first-round playoff matchup.

Kevin Shattenkirk scored the game-winning goal in the shootout, John Beecher also scored in regulation and Jeremy Swayman made 18 saves for the Bruins, who were playing their first game since qualifying for the series.

After spending four minutes shorthanded in overtime, the Bruins moved back ahead of the Florida Panthers atop the Atlantic Division.

The Capitals, for their part, are in the center of a fight with the Detroit Red Wings and the Philadelphia Flyers for a playoff spot. They are currently third in the Metropolitan division.

John Carlson scored in his 1,000th career game and Michael Sgarbossa was the other scorer for the home favorites. Charlie Lindgren blocked 27 pucks.

The penguins lose another clue

Alexandre Texier and Damon Severson scored in a shootout and the Blue Jackets defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-3 on Thursday to end a six-game losing streak.

Kirill Marchenko and Zach Werenski allowed the home favorites to come back and force overtime with third-period goals. Mathieu Olivier also threaded the needle and Elvis Merzlikins turned in a 30-save performance.

Drew O’Connor, Bryan Rust and Rickard Rakell were the Penguins’ scorers. Alex Nedeljkovic blocked 35 pucks for the Pennsylvania team, which won the first of two straight games against rival Ohio 3-2 on Thursday.

Rust collected at least one point in a fourth consecutive game.

Sharks hurt Blues’ chances

Filip Zadina and Mikael Granlund scored goals just 27 seconds apart and the San Jose Sharks dealt a blow to the St. Louis Blues’ slim playoff chances with a 4-0 victory Saturday night.

Mackenzie Blackwood made 35 saves for San Jose, which has the worst record in the NHL. They ended a nine-game winless streak with this first victory since March 9.

Luke Kunin also scored and Jan Rutta added an empty-net goal for the Sharks, who beat Saint Louis for the second time in as many games this season. It was the 10th shutout of Blackwood’s career and second this season.

Joel Hofer made 16 saves for the Blues, who went 7-1-1 in their last nine games. His loss confirmed the Vancouver Canucks’ playoff berth.

Kadri takes charge of the Kings

Nazem Kadri scored a goal and added an assist, and the Calgary Flames defeated the Los Angeles Kings 4-2 on Saturday.

Martin Pospisil, Blake Coleman and MacKenzie Weegar also scored for the Flames, who ended a five-game losing streak.

Andrei Kuzmenko was an accomplice to two goals. Jacob Markstrom made 16 saves in the win.

With nine games left, the Flames are still all but eliminated from the playoff race. They are 14 points behind the Kings and are the last place that gives access to the Western Conference playoffs.

Adrian Kempe and Anze Kopitar scored for the Kings, who are 15-9-1 since Jim Hiller replaced Todd McLellan as head coach on Feb. 2.

Against his former team, David Rittich turned away 31 shots.

The Stars win without forcing too much in Seattle

Wyatt Johnson had a goal and an assist, Jake Oettinger stopped 18 shots for his second shutout of the season and the Dallas Stars beat the Seattle Kraken 3-0 on Saturday night for their seventh straight victory.

It was the ninth shutout of Oettinger’s career. She is 30-13-4 this season.

Joe Pavelski and Roope Hintz also turned on the red light to help the Stars maintain first place in the Central section. They are three points ahead of the Colorado Avalanche.

Joey Daccord finished his night’s work with 27 saves for the Kraken, who lost nine of their last 11 games.

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