BUFFALO (AP) — Auston Matthews scored his 39th goal to set the record for most by an American-born rookie and the Toronto Maple Leafs beat the Buffalo Sabres 4-2 on Monday night to move closer to clinching their second playoff berth in 12 seasons.
Nazem Kadri had a goal and an assist, James van Rimedsyk and Leo Komarov also scored, and Frederick Andersen made 18 saves for the Maple Leafs in their fourth straight win.
The victory vaulted Toronto (39-24-15) one point ahead of Boston (43-30-6) for second-place in the Atlantic Division.
Jack Eichel and Ryan O’Reilly scored for Buffalo. Robin Lehner was pulled after giving up three goals on five shots in the first five minutes, and Anders Nillson stopped 32 of the 33 shots he faced.
The Sabres have lost three in a row and are 6-12-2 in their past 20 games. The late-season collapse will extend Buffalo’s playoff drought to six consecutive seasons.
Playing in Buffalo for the second time in nine days, the Maple Leafs evened a 5-2 loss in their previous visit. A large contingent of Toronto fans filled the KeyBank Center with chants of “Go Leafs, go!”
Matthews scored his milestone goal in the same arena in which the Maple Leafs selected the 19-year-old center from Scottsdale, Arizona, with the No. 1 pick in June. The goal was also Matthews’ 67th point of the season, setting a franchise rookie record.
Canadiens 4, Panthers 1
SUNRISE, Fla. — Artturi Lehkonen scored twice in the third period and had an assist to help the Montreal Canadiens clinch the Atlantic Division title with a victory over the Florida Panthers.
Andrew Shaw and Alexander Radulov also scored for the Canadiens, and Charlie Lindgren stopped 31 shots in his second NHL start.
Jonathan Marchessault scored for Florida and Reto Berra finished with 27 saves.
Lehkonen put Montreal ahead 2-1 at 1:27 of the third as he beat Berra with a rising shot from between the circles high to the glove side. He made it a two-goal game when he followed Paul Byron’s breakaway attempt by knocking in the rebound for his 16th with 3:11 remaining.
Red Wings 5, Senators 4, SO
DETROIT — Evgeni Svechnikov scored the only goal of the shootout in his NHL debut, lifting Detroit past Ottawa.
In the seventh round of the tiebreaker, Svechnikov went to his backhand and slid the puck between the pads of Ottawa goalie Craig Anderson.
Tomas Tatar had a goal and an assist, and Frans Nielsen, Gustav Nyquist and Dylan Larkin scored in regulation for Detroit, Nick Jensen had two assists and Petr Mrazek stopped 41 shots.
Kyle Turris and Fredrik Claesson scored 4:09 apart in the third period to tie the score for the Senators, who pulled into a tie with Boston for third place in the Atlantic Division. Ottawa is technically ahead at the moment with a game in hand on the Bruins.
Erik Karlsson had a goal and an assist, Alexandre Burows also scored and Turris also had two assists for the Senators.