The Buffalo Sabres hosted the Toronto Maple Leafs at the First Niagara Center, in a scene that seemed like it was out of the movie Freaky Friday, with Leafs fans greatly outnumbered Sabres fans.
Things began well, with the first period playing out almost perfectly in favor of the Buffalo Sabres.
Action was intense for both teams, with the puck traveling through each zone at a very rapid pace.
Surprisingly,Buffalo would be able to gain the upper hand first, thanks to a questionable goaltender interference call.
At 15:40 of the first, Tyler Ennis would score his 6th goal of the season, on the power play, putting Buffalo up 1-0.
Minutes later, Buffalo would strike again. The Leafs were on the power play, and the puck was cleared into their zone.
Goaltender James Reimer decided to aggressively play the puck, but there was only one problem. Reimer never got to the puck, leaving Brian Flynn with an open net. Before Reimer was able to return to the net, Zemgus Girgensons entered the zone. Flynn passed the puck to Girgensons, who scored a shorthanded goal. At 18:33, the Sabres led 2-0, on Girgensons’ 5th goal of the season.
When asked about the shorthanded goal, Girgensons said. “I was just getting up there, get the puck maybe, and hope for something.”
Fortunately for Buffalo, their streak of good luck would continue into the second period.
7:10 into the period, a pretty shot from Drew Stafford would beat James Reimer. Stafford’s 4th of the season would put Buffalo up 3-0.
The Sabres volleyed control of the game back and forth with Toronto, until the Maple Leafs finally got on the board.
David Clarkson’s 5th of the season, at 18:41, pulled the Leafs to within 2 goals.
Fortunately for the Sabres, Matt Moulson would quickly grasp the offensive momentum back.
Just 16 seconds after Toronto’s 1st goal, Moulson’s 2nd goal of the season put Buffalo up 4-1.
Toronto would again cut into Buffalo’s lead, at 19:41, when Phil Kessel scored his 11th goal of the season.
“They scored two on us in the second, we didn’t hang our heads,” said Matt Moulson.
Heading into the third period, Buffalo clearly held the momentum and looked to put this game away.
Just 1:10 into the third, Buffalo would further distance themselves from the Leafs. Tyler Myers’ first goal of the year put Buffalo ahead 5-2.
Minutes later, Zemgus Girgensons would score his 2nd of the game, and 6th of the season, to put a bow on this game.
The Buffalo Sabres would end up winning this game, 6-2. It was the largest goal output for the Buffalo Sabres since their 7-4 win over the Boston Bruins on 1/31/13. Also, the Sabres boasted a game with five different goal scorers for the first time since 2/26/14.
“That was a fun one,” said Tyler Ennis. “That’s how we gotta play every night. I think it was the first time we played a full 60.”
With this win, the Sabres are 4-13-2 with 12 points on the season.
Buffalo is in action again this Tuesday night, when they host the San Jose Sharks at the First Niagara Center. Faceoff will be shortly after 7:30 PM, and the game will be broadcast on NBCSN.