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Game Recap

Sabres swept by Toronto

Buffalo falls to Leafs four fourth time this season

Although the Sabres struck first and held onto the lead in the first period, the Toronto Maple Leafs (44-25-5) leave Buffalo with a 4-2 win for just the second time in six games.

Trailing 1-0 after an opening period the Leafs responded by scoring three consecutive goals, including John Tavares and Mitchell Marner scored 1:50 apart. Tavares and Auston Matthews each had a goal and assist — Matthews reached 200 NHL points for the Leafs. Zach Hyman also scored on an empty net, pushing the Maple Leafs within four points of the Boston Bruins for second place in the Atlantic Division standings.

“The little slump we’ve been in late, it’s frustrating for everybody. You try to stay positive,” Matthews said. “Everybody was prepared tonight despite the back to back, and everybody came out flying.”

Casey Mittelstadt and Alexander Nylander (his first of the season) scored the only goals for Buffalo. This loss means the Sabres, now 31-33-9, have gone 41 games since winning consecutive outings on Dec. 11-13. Carter Hutton made 42 saves in a game Toronto outshot Buffalo 46-24. Rasmus Dahlin, who recorded the primary assist on Casey Mittelstadt’s goal, now has 39 points (8G, 31A) on the season, passing Bobby Orr for second-most points by an 18-year-old defenseman in NHL history. He trails only Phil Housley (57 points in 1982-83).

“It’s obviously frustrating here on home ice,” Hutton said. “We get a big win and then we can’t answer the bell here today.”

Garret Sparks stopped 22 shots for Toronto, who was playing on consecutive nights after a 3-0 loss at Nashville.

“Just tonight, if I’m looking at tonight, I’m very, very disappointed in our game, because it’s a rivalry and we knew the magnitude of the game, and we didn’t execute,” Coach Phil Housley said.

The Sabres will get a short break before opening a three-game road trip against Montreal Canadiens on Saturday.

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NHL Standings

TEAMGPRECPTS
Atlantic Division Leaders:
P8262-16-4128
X8249-24-9107
X8246-28-8100
Metropolitan Division Leaders:
Y8248-26-8104
X8248-27-7103
X8244-26-12100
Wild Card leaders:
X8246-29-799
X8247-31-498
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8244-30-896
8236-32-1486
8237-37-882
8232-36-1478
8233-39-1076
8232-40-1074
8231-41-1072
8229-47-664
TEAMGPRECPTS
Central Division Leaders:
Y8247-29-6100
X8247-30-599
X8245-28-999
Pacific Division Leaders:
Z8250-25-7107
X8246-27-9101
X8243-32-793
Wild Card leaders:
X8243-32-793
X8238-30-1490
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8239-35-886
8236-34-1284
8237-36-983
8235-36-1181
8235-37-1080
8235-38-979
8231-42-971