O’Reilly scores hat trick, Marner five assists, Leafs hold off late Buffalo barrage for 6-3 win

Josh Marano
FiredUp Network Sports Writer


Tuesday, February 21, 2023

The night couldn’t have started any better for newly acquired Ryan O’Reilly scoring the first two goals against on the first two shots his former team on route to the 6-3 win over the Buffalo Sabres. O’Reilly never scored more than two goals in a game while playing with the Sabres from 2015-2018.


The Maple Leafs scored four goals in the first period all by Ontario born players.


John Tavares and Michael Bunting each scored to end the first at 4-0 for the Buds and chase Sabres young netminder Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen after allowing four goals on 10 shots. Craig Anderson came in relief.


William Nylander scored the lone goal in the second period on the powerplay to give the Leafs the 5-0 lead heading into the third.


Buffalo did get some on the board in their home building to give the Leafs a scare. Jack Quinn and Alex Tuch scored two, three minutes apart to make it 5-2 before Jeff Skinner scored his 22nd of the season to make it 5-3.


In the dying minutes O’Reilly got the job done with an empty net goal for his first hat trick with the Maple Leafs and capping off a four-point night.


Mitch Marner and John Tavares had themselves a stat night as well. Marner racked in five assists while Tavares scored and added three assists for the four-point night.


Ilya Samsonov started again in this one stopping 29 of 32.


The four goals were the fastest ever in franchise history to start a road trip with all four in the first being scored in an eight-minute span. It is also the first time in franchise history three different players had three or more points in the first period. The Leafs also put up the first three goals before Buffalo even had a shot.


Next up for the Leafs is the Minnesota Wild back at home Friday night.


TOR Scoring: O’Reilly (13), O’Reilly (14), Tavares (26), Bunting (19), Nylander PP (32), O’Reilly EN (15)


BUF Scoring: Quinn (9), Tuch (27), Skinner (22)