Ryan O’Reilly has opened his goal-scoring account with the Maple Leafs in statement fashion, scoring twice inside 37 seconds in Buffalo.

Both were no-doubt finishes — a one-timer on his forehand, then a backhand roof job — off of seamless linkups with Mitch Marner, with John Tavares picking up a secondary assist on both goals.

“Both those guys are looking to make plays with the puck,” said O’Reilly at the first intermission after scoring twice. “For me, it is just going to the net hard. Two great plays by them. The second one was driving the net hard, too. Both JT and Marns’ playmaking ability is just so good. If we work, we’ll get plenty of chances.”

The line also produced the Leafs‘ third goal of the night to make it 3-0 after O’Reilly went hard to the net, Marner threw the puck on goal for a rebound, and Tavares buried it.

Before the game, Tavares and O’Reilly talked about the burgeoning chemistry between the three linemates in the first two games of O’Reilly’s Leaf career, even if they hadn’t combined for a goal yet over the weekend against Montreal and Chicago.

“I think we are doing a lot of things well,” said O’Reilly. “At times, I think we are still trying to read each other and see how things are playing out. Each game, we are getting pucks back. We’re close.”

“We’ve got some good looks, but getting some more results, it is funny how it can just change the dynamic of things,” added Tavares.

The breakthrough arrived in a big way in Buffalo. Sheldon Keefe mentioned on the TSN broadcast before the game that Tavares will find his way back to center ice eventually, but in terms of acclimating O’Reilly to the team and getting his offensive confidence up and rolling in between two elite players who play complementary styles to O’Reilly, it’s been mission accomplished tonight in Buffalo.

For O’Reilly, who played three seasons for the Sabres between 2015-16 and 2017-18, it was his first-ever two-plus goal game in Buffalo (120 games) and a career-high-tying four-point night. The Clinton, Ontario native is now up to three goals and five points in three games as a Maple Leaf after clinching his hat trick with an ugly empty-net goal late in the third period.

On his first few days as a Leaf, O’Reilly said earlier today, “I still catch myself at times… I still can’t believe it. With family growing up in Toronto and actually wearing [the Maple Leaf] now, it feels surreal.”

No doubt, Leafs fans also feel like they’re dreaming tonight.