SABRES AT MAPLE LEAFS PREGAME NOTES: Ilya Mikheyev leads all NHL rookies in shorthanded ice time (68:51). … Second among NHL rookies in shots on goal (83). … Tied for the lead among NHL rookies and tied for third among Maple Leafs in even-strength points (5-13-18).

BUFFALO SABRES (16-11-7 – 39 Points) vs.

TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS (16-14-4 – 36 Points)

DECEMBER 17, 2019 ▪ 7:00 PM EST

SCOTIABANK ARENA (TORONTO, ON) ▪
TV: TSN4 ▪ RADIO: TSN 1050

MAPLE LEAFS HISTORY versus BUFFALO

ALL-TIME RECORD:82-105-18-11 (216 Games)
ALL-TIME AT HOME:50-40-12-5 (107 Games)
2019-20:1-1-0
LAST FIVE:4-1-0
LAST 10:7-3-0

MAPLE LEAFS CAREER LEADERS versus BUFFALO

GAMES PLAYED:Jason Spezza (64), John Tavares (32), Morgan Rielly (25)
GOALS:Jason Spezza (23), John Tavares (21), Auston Matthews (9)
ASSISTS:Jason Spezza (48), John Tavares (19), Morgan Rielly (12)
POINTS:Jason Spezza (71), John Tavares (40), Auston Matthews (15)
PENALTY MINUTES:Jason Spezza (44), Zach Hyman (18), John Tavares (16)

MAPLE LEAFS – SABRES TEAM STATS

 TORONTOBUFFALO
GOALS FOR (Rank):109 (t-5th)106 (t-10th)
GOALS AGAINST (Rank):       107 (25th)102 (17th)
POWER PLAY [%] (Rank):19/92 [20.6%] (11th)20/107 [18.6%] (16th)
PENALTY KILL [%] (Rank):79/104 [76.6%] (26th)76/101 [75.2%] (29th)
SHOTS (Rank):1136 (4th)1052 (17th)
5-on-5 SHOT ATTEMPTS FOR (Rank):1736 (1st)1447 (23rd)
5-on-5 SHOT ATTEMPT % (Rank):52.7% (6th)50.0% (t-16th)
FACEOFF % (Rank):52.1% (5th)45.6% (31st)

MAPLE LEAFS – SABRES NOTES

FIRST MATCHUP BETWEEN CLUBS:November 18, 1970 vs. Buffalo (Buffalo 7, Toronto 2)
ALL-TIME RECORD:82-105-18-11 (216 Games)
ALL-TIME RECORD AT HOME:50-40-12-5 (107 Games)
ALL-TIME RECORD ON THE ROAD:32-65-6-6 (109 Games)
LAST WIN VS. OPPONENT ON THE ROAD:November 30, 2019 (Toronto 2, Buffalo 1)

MAPLE LEAFS MILESTONES vs. SABRES

Frederik Andersen100th win as a Maple Leaf (February 25, 2019 vs. BUF)
Tyson Barrie100th NHL point (Goal) (March 28, 2015 (COL) vs. BUF)
Cody CeciFirst NHL game (December 12, 2013 (OTT) vs. BUF)
Frederik GauthierFirst NHL game (March 19, 2016 vs. BUF)
Zach HymanFirst NHL point (Goal) (March 7, 2016 vs. BUF)
Martin MarincinFirst goal as a Maple Leaf (March 19, 2016 vs. BUF)
Auston Matthews200th NHL point (Assist) (March 20, 2019 at BUF)
John Tavares400th NHL assist (November 30, 2019 vs. BUF)
  

MAPLE LEAFS LEADERS

CATEGORYLEADER
GOALS19 (Matthews)
ASSISTS19 (Marner, Rielly)
POINTS34 (Matthews)
POWER PLAY POINTS10 (Matthews)
SHORTHANDED POINTS(Engvall, Kapanen)
PIMs24 (Muzzin)
SHOTS124 (Matthews)
FACEOFF WIN%57.3% (Gauthier)
5-on-5 SHOT ATTEMPT %55.7% (Matthews)
BLOCKED SHOTS59 (Ceci)
TAKEAWAYS35 (Marner)
HITS74 (Muzzin)
TOI PER GAME24:36 (Rielly)
PP TOI PER GAME2:59 (Marner)
SH TOI PER GAME3:08 (Ceci)

MAPLE LEAFS PLAYER NOTES

Frederik Andersen– Is 7-4-3 at home this season with a 2.64 goals-against average and a .915 save percentage.
– Has made 15 career appearances against Buffalo and is 11-3-0 with a 2.24 goals-against average and a .922 save percentage.- Tied for the NHL lead in wins (16).- Second in the NHL in saves (777) and even-strength saves (651).- Tied for third in the NHL in shootout saves (11).
Tyson Barrie– Averaging 13.9 shot attempts per 60 minutes of ice time, which is the seventh-highest average among NHL defencemen who have appeared in 30 games.
– Has been on the ice for the seventh-most shot attempts for (649) among NHL skaters.
– Has an on-ice shot attempt differential of plus-107, which is tied for 12th among NHL defencemen.
Cody Ceci– Has an on-ice goal differential of plus-six at even-strength, which is tied for the second highest even-strength goal differential among Toronto skaters.- 10th among NHL skaters in shorthanded time on ice (106:46).
Justin Holl– Has started his 44.3 percent of his 5-on-5 shifts in the offensive zone, which is the lowest mark among Toronto defencemen who have appeared in at least 10 games.- Has an unblocked shot attempt percentage of 53.7 percent at 5-on-5, which leads Toronto defencemen who have appeared in at least 10 games.
Michael Hutchinson– Sixth among NHL goaltenders who have appeared in fewer than 10 games in saves (197).
Zach Hyman– Has a 5-on-5 shot attempt percentage of 54.1 percent, which ranks ninth among Toronto skaters who have played 10 games.
– Has an on-ice goals-for percentage of 57.8 percent, which ranks second among Toronto skaters. 
Kasperi Kapanen– Has nine points (3 goals, 6 assists) in 11 games against Atlantic Division teams.- Seventh among Toronto skaters in even-strength points (6-7-13).- Has played 37.6 percent of the Maple Leafs’ shorthanded ice time, which ranks third among Toronto forwards.
Alex Kerfoot– Tied for fifth among Toronto skaters in even-strength goals (5).- Lone Toronto forward to have recorded at least 20 hits (27) and 20 blocked shots (23) this season.
Mitch Marner– Averaging 0.57 primary assists per game, which ranks seventh among NHLers who have appeared in at least 20 games.- Tied for first among NHLers who have appeared in 25 or fewer games in assists (19).- Tied for fourth in the NHL in takeaways (35). Averages 4.51 takeaways per 60 minutes of ice time, which ranks second among NHLers who have skated in at least 20 games.- Ninth among NHL forwards in shifts per game (25.6).
Auston Matthews– Eighth among NHL skaters in goals (19).- Tied for sixth among NHL skaters in even-strength goals (14).- Tied for 15th among NHL skaters in even-strength points (14-10-24).- Eighth in the NHL with 124 shots on goal.- Has an on-ice goals-for percentage of 57.1 percent at 5-on-5, which is tied for fourth among Toronto skaters.
Ilya Mikheyev– Averaging 8.7 shots on goal per 60 minutes of shorthanded ice time, which is tied for the second-highest average among NHLers who have played at least 60 shorthanded minutes.- Leads all NHL rookies in shorthanded ice time (68:51).- Second among NHL rookies in shots on goal (83).- Tied for the lead among NHL rookies and tied for third among Maple Leafs in even-strength points (5-13-18).
Jake Muzzin– Played 27:01 in ice time on December 14 at Edmonton, which marked the 12th time he has played over 27 minutes in his career.- Has drawn nine penalties this season, which leads Toronto defencemen and is tied for second among Maple Leafs skaters.- Averages 0:47 in ice time per shift, which is tied for the fourth-lowest average shift length among defencemen who average at least 21:00 per game in ice time.
William Nylander– Has recorded six primary assists at 5-on-5, which is tied for second among Toronto skaters.  – Averages 2.06 points per 60 minutes of ice time, which ranks fifth among Maple Leafs skaters.- Has recorded 12 points (4-8-12) in 17 career games against the Sabres, which is tied for his highest point total against a single opponent.
Morgan Rielly– Tied for 12th among NHL defencemen in points (3-19-22).- Tied for eighth among NHL defencemen in even-strength points
(3-13-16).- Tied for third among NHL defencemen in assists recorded at 5-on-5 (12).- Ranks 12th among NHL skaters in TOI per game (24:36).- Tied for eighth among NHL skaters in shifts per game (28.6).
Jason Spezza– Averaging 2.53 points per 60 minutes of ice time at 5-on-5 this season, which leads Toronto skaters.- Averaging 1.40 primary assists per 60 minutes of 5-on-5 ice time in 2019-20, which is the sixth-highest average among NHLers who have appeared in at least 20 games.
John Tavares– Has 40 points (21 goals, 19 assists) in 32 career games against Buffalo.- Averaging 16.5 shot attempts per game at 5-on-5, which is the sixth-highest average among NHL centres who have appeared in 20 games.- Tied for the Maple Leafs lead in points (10-8-18; 19 GP) since returning to the lineup from injury on November 5. – Has a 5-on-5 shot attempt percentage of 55.2 percent, which ranks third among Toronto skaters who have appeared in at least 20 games. 

CURRENT POINT STREAKS

Mitch MarnerHas goals (2) in two consecutive games and points (2-5-7) in four consecutive games.
  

UPCOMING MILESTONES

Alex KerfootFour points from 100 NHL points

RECENT MILESTONES

Frederik Andersen200th NHL win (December 14 at EDM)
  

INJURY REPORT

Andreas Johnsson (Leg)On injured reserve.
Trevor Moore (Shoulder)On injured reserve.
 Man Games Lost: 70

RECENT TRANSACTIONS

December 16Recalled defencemen Timothy Liljegren and Martin Marincin from the Toronto Marlies (AHL) on an emergency basis.
December 15Loaned forward Pontus Aberg and defenceman Martin Marincin to the Toronto Marlies (AHL).
December 13Loaned forward Nic Petan to the Toronto Marlies (AHL).

Liljegren a step closer to making NHL debut, Barrie expected to be in Leafs lineup on Tuesday — Toronto Sun

Timothy Liljegren, the Maple Leafs figure, is ready to make his debut in the National Hockey League. It’s a matter of when, not if, for the 20-year-old defenceman. With the Leafs nursing some bumps and bruises in the defence corps following a successful trip that included three wins in four games, Liljegren and Martin Marincin […]

Liljegren a step closer to making NHL debut, Barrie expected to be in Leafs lineup on Tuesday — Toronto Sun

Bucks’ 18-game winning streak ends with 120-116 loss to Mavs — Wausau Pilot & Review

By JIM HOEHN Associated Press MILWAUKEE (AP) — The Bucks have little time to reflect on the end of their 18-game winning streak. Milwaukee’s impressive run was halted Monday night when Seth Curry and Kristaps Porzingis each scored 26 points to help the Dallas Mavericks hang on for a 120-116 victory even without star guard […]

Bucks’ 18-game winning streak ends with 120-116 loss to Mavs — Wausau Pilot & Review

Moore, set to return to Leafs lineup, pumped at opportunity to play for Keefe again — Toronto Sun

Finally, Trevor Moore will be reunited with Sheldon Keefe. Moore suffered a shoulder injury in a game against the Boston Bruins in November, five days before Keefe replaced Mike Babcock behind the Maple Leafs bench. When the Leafs play host to the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday night, it’s probable that Moore, who flourished under Keefe […]

Moore, set to return to Leafs lineup, pumped at opportunity to play for Keefe again — Toronto Sun

RAPTORS 133, CAVS 113 QUOTES FROM BOTH TEAMS: “The same story again we’ve had the last few games playing a really, really good team that has a great plan, has incredible shooters, length, quickness, got it all. I saw it firsthand now with (Pascal) Siakam, who last year certainly was a second fiddle to Kawhi (Leonard), and that was quite a performance.” — JOHN BEILEIN.

(6-21) CLEVELAND CAVALIERS, 113 VS. (18-8) TORONTO RAPTORS, 133 SCOTIABANK ARENA MONDAY, DECEMBER 16, 2019

TORONTO RAPTORS QUOTES

NICK NURSE (HEAD COACH)

On the offence carrying the defence tonight … Yeah, I think there wasn’t a ton of defence going on, I think either way, and that’s okay. I thought again, you look at the numbers, we shot the ball well, 31 assists, so a lot of guys with some pretty good nights there. We will take a W, that’s for sure.

On what Norm Powell is doing differently… We talked about this already, I think the only thing is, that in open floor he is being decisive and putting the jets on and going to the rim and he is finishing. I think a few games ago he was looking around and trying to figure out where to go and who to throw it to and wasn’t making the right decision all the time. What I like is his speed when he sees the open floor and goes to it. Reminiscent of a few years ago.

On Powell’s finishing at the rim … It’s the decisions of ‘I am going for it,’ and now you’re not hesitating at anything or looking out of the corner of your eye, you are just really going. But I think more than anything it is just the speed, he just is accelerating by people and getting a little clearer shot maybe on most of them. He had a couple tonight where he had to move it around somebody or directly over somebody, but most of those when he gets an extra burst he gets clear and clean and he’s making them.

On Patrick McCaw… Again, they have some fast guards out there, so we needed some speed. He’s always an impactful player defensively and even though he is maybe not the greatest offensive player in the world, he is still a smart offensive player. He will cut, he’s a good passer, nice to see him knock down a couple tonight because he really, really put in a lot of work this summer on his shooting, and with the in and out with the injuries, he hasn’t had a real chance to get into some rhythm. So it was nice to see him knock them down. I just like his overall IQ, his athleticism and his defensive prowess.

NORMAN POWELL (26 points, six rebounds, five rebounds, four steals)

Does it feel like the offence is coming around the past few games? I think more so, we are getting into a groove defensively. That being tied together, being locked back in on that side of the ball, and then feeling the offence, just being able to get steals. Talking, communicating, playing with high energy, everybody focused on that end and just carrying over.

Are you more comfortable finishing at the rim now? I think I’m really comfortable, just being able to read what the defence is doing, how they are playing, where their bigs are at, whether it’s a finish or kick out or a drop off to the bigs. I’m just taking what the defence is giving me and being aggressive and thinking to try and go up there and dunk the ball. Even if I’m not dunking it, but that mindset gets me there aggressively and being able to finish whatever it is, left, right. I’m just reading the defence and just playing my game.

On having zero turnovers tonight… I thought I did a good job of taking what they gave me, making the right reads and not (being) overly anxious to make the pass if the bigs were staying with me. Just take my time when I got into the paint and was able to make the right plays.

KYLE LOWRY (20 points, 11 assists)

Do you feel like the offence is getting back into the groove? It’s going to take time, we made shots tonight and we played with good energy and I think that’s the biggest thing. I think Pascal said last game that we have to continue to play with energy, play good defence and our defence creates good offence.

On the play of Powell… He’s in a great stretch right now, he’s shooting the ball confidently, pushing in transition and I think he’s understanding how to play in transition a lot better now and what we need from him.

On how you and Serge Ibaka are playing right now… It takes time, I missed four weeks and Serge missed three weeks and I mean it takes time and when you are only eight games in and both get hurt and you miss some time early in the year, when you are kind of getting into your groove and you are feeling good early, then you get knocked out, it takes a little bit of time to get back going.

CLEVELAND CAVALIERS QUOTES

JOHN BEILEIN (HEAD COACH)

On tonight’s game… The same story again we’ve had the last few games playing a really, really good team that has a great plan, has incredible shooters, length, quickness, got it all. I saw it firsthand now with (Pascal) Siakam, who last year certainly was a second fiddle to Kawhi (Leonard), and that was quite a performance. We’re just having trouble matching up with some of these type of players, and as a team we’ve got to find a way to do that. They are just a really good team, and were certainly a better team than us tonight.

On the transition defence… Some guys don’t have trouble, some do. It’s sort of an individual thing right now, and then what else happens is you can get back and then the words that aren’t spoken when you get back leads to confusion. We have some really good people on the team that aren’t necessarily the most talkative so they assume with each other, and they (opponents) get things. Again, if the other team is faster than you and longer than you, that’s really hard to stay in front of them too.

What were you seeing from your second unit? They just are playing well together right now. I think we had 30 assists overall. The first half was about our turnovers, led to fast break points and then the second half we stopped doing that. I think they had over 20 fast break points in the first half and the second half we didn’t turn it over as much. That’s been an issue. I don’t think the second team in the first half had a turnover; they went in and really played well. So we have a lot of things obviously we’re shoring up and it’s hard to do with a team like this.

COLLIN SEXTON (25 points, five rebounds, four assists)

What do you need to do to improve the transition defense? We have to get back into transition. We have to continue to work on that. A few of us can’t score and then run all the way back; it should be a collective effort. We have to talk more and communicate whenever the transition is happening.

Do you want to see more physicality from you and the group? Oh yeah, absolutely. We have to pretty much play harder and get more stops. We have to continue to grow, continue to get better and we just have to try to put a win together.

Can you take any positives from this game? There are some positives, but there are also negatives that we have to correct. There are a lot of things we have to get better at. So we’ll watch it tomorrow and look to get better.

Is communication missing on the defensive end? Absolutely, it’s communication. No matter what, we have to communicate, we have to get back. We have to point out which player we should go to because whenever we’re scoring two of us are maybe under the basket and everybody else is looking out so we have to talk more and communicate.

DARIUS GARLAND (20 points, five assists)

How is your game different over the last few games compared to the beginning of the season? It’s just being more aggressive. My teammates trust me more, coaches do too. They’re giving me the ball when I’m open. It’s a credit to them.

How has that been different for the offence that you’ve seen the last few games? The ball is moving, so everybody is getting a touch. Everybody is getting a couple of shots. We just didn’t knock them down tonight. The ball is moving and bodies are moving.

What is working with the second unit over the past few games? Like I said, the ball is moving. Everybody is touching the ball so everybody is pretty happy about that. When we get open shots, that’s all we can ask for.

What did you see on the defensive side tonight? Miscommunication, really. They’re a really fast-paced team. Siakam is coming out really fast. You’ve got to stop him, get in front and match up on him somewhat.

RAPTORS 133, CAVALIERS 113 POST GAME NOTES: The Raptors scored a season-high 133 points … Toronto shot .584 (52-for-89) from the field and 50 per cent (16-for-32) from three-point range … The Raptors shot .632 (24-for-38) from the floor in the second half.

FINAL SCORE: TORONTO RAPTORS 133, CLEVELAND CAVALIERS 113

DATE: DECEMBER 16, 2019 ATTENDANCE: 19,800 (Sellout)

FINAL SCORE RECORD HIGH POINTS HIGH REBOUNDS HIGH ASSISTS Cleveland 113 6-21 Sexton – 25 Thompson – 8 Garland/Henson – 5

Toronto 133 18-8 Siakam – 33 Anunoby – 9 Lowry – 11

KEY RUN Leading 66-59 early in the second half, the Raptors went on a 16-6 run to extend their lead to 17 points with 7:59 left in the third … Toronto led but double digits the rest of the way.

KEY STAT The Raptors scored a season-high 133 points … Toronto shot .584 (52-for-89) from the field and 50 per cent (16-for-32) from three-point range … The Raptors shot .632 (24-for-38) from the floor in the second half. RAPTORS NOTES: • With the win, Toronto improves to 18-8 this season and 11-3 at home … The Raptors have won two in a row (Dec. 14-16) and are now 4-4 in the month of December … Six of Toronto’s eight games this month have been against teams currently with a +.500 record. • The Raptors have won four of their last five meetings vs. Cleveland, including four in a row at home.

• Toronto outscored the Cavaliers 29-4 on the fast-break … The Raptors entered the night ranked second in the NBA averaging 19.1 fast-break points – behind only Milwaukee (19.2).

• The Raptors committed a season-low seven turnovers, including just two in the first half. • Toronto’s bench combined for 34 points and shot .632 (12-for-19) from the floor.

Pascal Siakam scored a game-high 33 points (13-24 FG, 5-8 3PT, 2-2 FT) in 36 minutes – his five threes tied a career high … Siakam posted his second consecutive 30-point performance (Dec. 14-16) and 10th of the season … The Raptors improved to 9-1 when Siakam scores 30 or more.

Norman Powell finished with 26 points, six rebounds and five assists in 36 minutes … Powell scored 20+ points for the third straight game (Dec. 11-16); he’s averaging 24.3 points during this stretch.

Kyle Lowry recorded his second double-double of the season with 20 points and 11 assists in 37 minutes … Lowry tied Antonio Davis (110) for third on the Raptors’ all-time double-doubles list.

• The Raptors had five players score double figures – Siakam (33), Powell (26), Lowry (20), Serge Ibaka (14) and OG Anunoby (12) … Ibaka has led the bench in scoring a team-high 12 times.

CAVALIERS NOTES: • With the loss, Cleveland falls to 6-21 on the season and 3-11 on the road … The Cavaliers have dropped 10 of their last 11 games (Nov. 25 – Dec. 16) and finish their three-game road trip (Dec. 12-16) with a 1-2 record … Cleveland returns home to host the Charlotte Hornets on Wednesday.

Collin Sexton led Cleveland with 25 points … He added five rebounds and four assists in 31 minutes … Sexton has scored 20+ points in seven games, including two of the last three contests.

• The Cavaliers had five players score in double digits – Sexton (25), Darius Garland (20), Tristan Thompson (18) and Cedi Osman (12).