#InternationalNews: “John Tavares scores first two goals on home ice as Maple Leafs down Sabres”
John Tavares didn’t must plug in GPS co-ordinates for the drive to his first sport at Scotiabank Arena as a member of the Maple Leafs.
Toronto’s new star centre additionally had little hassle discovering the scoresheet for a second straight pre-season outing.
Tavares buried his first two objectives on dwelling ice to double his exhibition complete because the Leafs downed the Buffalo Sabres 5-Three on Friday.
The 28-year-old surprised the hockey world by signing a US$77 million contract on July 1 with the workforce he cheered for as a child rising up within the suburbs west of Toronto, and acquired an ovation not like most in pre-season when his identify was introduced earlier than Friday’s opening faceoff.
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“You know your way around a little bit,” Tavares stated of his commute to Scotiabank Arena, previously Air Canada Centre. “I do know my north, south, east and west. I’ve acquired an thought the place I’m headed, so even when I make a mistaken flip I’ve acquired an thought the place I’m.
“I just try to enjoy it,” he added of the expertise. “I don’t try to think about it too much. I think you just try to live in the moment and embrace this opportunity.”
Tavares has actually completed that in two exhibition video games, registering 4 objectives and an help as Toronto improved to 3-0-Zero following consecutive 4-1 wins over the Ottawa Senators.
“It’s quite the atmosphere for a pre-season game,” he stated. “The passion for this team in this building and this city is pretty special.”
Ron Hainsey, Pierre Engvall and Chris Mueller additionally scored for the Leafs. Curtis McElhinney stopped all 20 pictures he confronted after changing Garret Sparks, who made 9 saves, halfway via the second interval.
Andrew Oglevie, C.J. Smith and Tage Thompson replied for the Sabres. Linus Ullmark made 27 stops in taking the loss.
The groups will play an exhibition rematch Saturday evening in Buffalo.
Despite the victory, Leafs head coach Mike Babcock wasn’t happy with important stretches of Friday.
“It’s real important when you find a way to win,” he stated. “It’s additionally necessary you determine work ethic and construction at dwelling the place it turns into computerized. You win each evening and also you play laborious each evening and the opposite workforce is aware of they haven’t any alternative.
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“They wouldn’t be leaving here tonight thinking that.”
Oglevie opened the scoring half a minute into the primary interval when he slid a rebound previous Sparks, however Hainsey’s shot via visitors tied it 18 seconds later. Engvall continued the chaotic opening 23 seconds after that when he beat Ullmark for a 3rd aim within the sport’s first 1:11.
Tavares then made it 3-1 together with his third of the pre-season at 3:42, ending off a sequence he began with a stretch cross to Mitch Marner, who in flip dropped it again to Timothy Liljegren. The rookie defenceman blasted a one-timer at Ullmark, and Tavares was there to pop the rebound upstairs.
Smith continued the deluge at 11:28 when be received a battle following an offensive zone faceoff and drove to the web to drag Buffalo inside one.
Tavares, who inked a seven-year take care of the Leafs after 9 seasons with the New York Islanders, was helped out by his goalie early within the second after a turnover, with Sparks making a toe cease on an Alexander Nylander breakaway
But Sparks was unable to bail out one other defensive miscue later within the interval on a nasty pinch as Thompson pulled the puck previous a sliding Connor Carrick on a 2-on-1 and ripped a shot dwelling at 6:08.
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The Leafs retook the lead at 10:55 when Mueller plowed ahead off a faceoff within the Sabres finish earlier than choosing the pocket of the Buffalo defender and stuffing a shot previous Ullmark.
Tavares and Marner misplaced their common winger early within the second when Zach Hyman headed to the locker room. It initially appeared like he had taken an innocent-looking shot by teammate Rasmus Sandin off the skate, however Babcock stated afterwards the harm was a hip pointer from a cross-check.
Josh Leivo acquired the vast majority of the minutes within the vacated spot, and will get an extended look there with Hyman on the shelf for just a few days.
“I’m just trying to make the most of every opportunity I get no matter who it’s with,” he stated.
McElhinney held the fort within the third earlier than Tavares iced it into an empty internet late.
“We created some opportunities and got a 3-1 lead and then let them back into it,” Tavares stated. “They skated well and made some plays.”
Apart from Tavares, Marner, Hyman and Hainsey, different veterans within the lineup for Toronto included Morgan Rielly, Nazem Kadri and Connor Brown.
Buffalo iced a less-experienced group, however did have Vladimir Sobotka, Zemgus Girgensons and star rookie Casey Mittelstadt.
Friday marked Toronto’s first dwelling sport since Air Canada Centre was renamed Scotiabank Arena as a part of a 20-year, $800 million partnership between the monetary establishment and Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment that took impact July 1.
Auston Matthews, Patrick Marleau, Frederik Andersen and Jake Gardiner are among the many Toronto veterans anticipated to decorate Saturday, whereas the house facet’s lineup ought to embody Jack Eichel, Carter Hutton and Rasmus Dahlin, the No. 1 decide at June’s NHL draft.
Note: “Previously Published on: 2018-09-22 13:02:49, as ‘John Tavares scores first two objectives on dwelling ice as Maple Leafs down Sabres’ on GLOBALNEWS CANADA. Here is a supply hyperlink for the Article’s Image(s) and Content”.