Skip to content

Matthews: Blowout loss to Sabres 'worst game' as a Leaf

Bill Wippert / National Hockey League / Getty

Toronto Maple Leafs star Auston Matthews thinks Thursday's 9-3 loss to the Buffalo Sabres might have been the club's lowest performance of his eight-year career.

"Embarrassing is the word I'd use," he said, according to The Athletic's Joshua Kloke. "Probably the worst game since I've been here."

The Maple Leafs led 2-1 in the first period and trailed 4-3 early in the second before completely unraveling by allowing five unanswered goals. Toronto netminder Ilya Samsonov, who entered the contest with an .878 save percentage on the season, was pulled after Buffalo's fifth.

"It's a hard time for me," Samsonov said, according to the Toronto Sun's Lance Hornby. "I need to figure it out in my head. It's not about technique."

On top of nearly hitting double digits, the Sabres dominated the contest statistically from start to finish. Buffalo outchanced Toronto 27-14 at five-on-five and controlled 67.91% of expected goals, per Natural Stat Trick.

"We won’t dissect it, but we won’t forget it," head coach Sheldon Keefe said, according to Sportsnet's Luke Fox.

Buffalo's offensive outburst came one game after allowing nine goals to the Columbus Blue Jackets. The Sabres are the first team to surrender then score nine goals in back-to-back games since the 1983-84 Detroit Red Wings, per Sportsnet Stats. Coincidentally, that Detroit team also scored nine on Toronto.

The Maple Leafs hadn't allowed that many goals in a game since a 9-2 loss to the Nashville Predators in 2014.

Toronto returns to the ice Saturday against the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Daily Newsletter

Get the latest trending sports news daily in your inbox