In the first matchup of the year between the Sabres and the division rival Toronto Maple leafs, both teams were looking to find their second win of the season.
The Sabres had a slow start to the first period as they allowed an early goal against. P.A. Parenteau tipped a point shot taken by Roman Polak and the leafs got out to a 1-0 lead. Polak went on to take a penalty shortly after and the Sabres were able to move the puck well on the ensuing powerplay.
Sam Reinhart was playing in front of the net again tonight and looked very comfortable in that role. The Sabres outshot the leafs 12-6 in that period, but the leafs held onto the lead going into the locker room.
The second period consisted of a strong defensive effort by both teams as neither team was able to score. Eichel made a nice move off the faceoff late in the period where he pushed the puck forward and skated around the leafs defensman for a good scoring opportunity. The sabres would edge Toronto in shots 12-11 in what was an evenly played period.
The third started out similar to the second as both teams played well defensively. Evander Kane was finally able to put a puck past Jonathan Bernier with 4:29 left in regulation for his first of the year.
The Sabres would get another chance on the power play shortly after as Dion Phaneuf caught Tyler Ennis with a high stick. Ironically, Phaneuf was hit with a high stick earlier in the game which was missed by the officials. Although Buffalo did not score on the late power play, they looked very good and the period closed out in exciting fashion, 1-1.
For the first time this season, the Sabres would play 3-on-3 overtime. It was very fast paced and included some great chances by both teams. Chad Johnson stood on his head in overtime. He made a huge save on Nazem Kadri, which kept the game from ending. The Leafs outshot the Sabres 3-1 in the period but neither team found the back of the net so the game went to a shootout.
Paranteau got the leafs on the board first in the shootout with a nice shot past Chad Johnson. However, that would be the last goal Johnson let in as Tyler Ennis and Matt Moulson scored to give the Sabres a 2-1 edge in a five round shootout.
Tyler Ennis led the team with 24:36 of ice time. He was named the second star of the night, which was likely due to his ability to control the play and set up his teammates. He also had a very impressive goal in the shootout as he skated into the slot and let a shot rip, beating Jonathan Bernier blocker side.
Eichel spoke highly of his line mate (Evander Kane) and was happy to see him score his first of the season. He spoke about the chances they have been getting together and is hopeful they can build off of that goal.
“Maybe it will open the flood gates for us,” Eichel said.
The Sabres will look to maintain momentum as Carey Price and the undefeated Montreal Canadians(7-0) come to town on Friday at 7:00 p.m.
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