Toronto (15-20-9) at Buffalo (27-11-4)
Buffalo had a chance to extend their five game winning streak on Friday with a win against Toronto. The Sabres were also also looking to beat the Maple Leafs for the tenth straight time. Buffalo has outscored the Leafs 15-6 in the four games played this season.
Everything looked to be in favor the Sabres for Friday’s game. It is Toronto’s third game in four nights, while Buffalo’s second in three nights. Buffalo has won five in a row and beat the Leafs nine straight times. Toronto is coming off of a 6-2 loss and Buffalo will have Ryan Miller in net. The Maple Leafs have been outscored 35-15 while going 1-7-0 in their last eight on the road.
Toronto began the game with all kinds of pressure in the Sabres zone. The Maple Leafs had three straight power plays, including one due to Ryan Miller’s roughing penalty. Buffalo killed off all three penalties, with Miller doing most of the work.
Tim Connolly took a high stick, resulting in a four minute power play for Buffalo. The Sabres took advantage of the worst penalty killing team in the league. Tim Kennedy scored first on Vesa Toskala, then Tyler Myers added a second one, putting Buffalo up 2-0 after one period. Connolly extended his point streak to eight games by earning an assist. Toronto outshot Buffalo 18-10, but couldn’t get the puck past Miller.
Tyler Myers collected another power play goal in the second period, upping the lead to 3-0. After two periods, the Maple Leafs had 28 shots, but still no goals. Toronto finally got on the board in the third period due to a Buffalo mistake. The Sabres failed to get the puck out of the zone, and Matt Stajan cut the Sabres lead down to two.
With a few minutes to go in the third, John Mitchell scored his third of the season, putting Toronto right back in the game. The Maple Leafs were unable to score, despite putting on pressure with the goaltender pulled.
Toronto fired 50 shots on net, including 22 in the third period rally that fell short. Miller was on top of his game, stopping 48 shots, leading the Sabres to their sixth straight win. Buffalo did not play a full 60 minute effort, but edged out a victory thanks to Miller and Tyler Myers.
The Sabres trail the Eastern Conference leading Devils by one point, and could move into first place with a win and a Devils loss tomorrow.