The Sabres came into this game on a three game winning streak with aspirations of crushing the Leafs playoffs hopes. Toronto had nothing to lose and came out with an impressive performance in the first period.
Dion Phaneuf ripped a shot past Miller to get the Leafs on the board. Darryl Boyce scored late in the first period to give Toronto a 2-0 lead.
Buffalo had trouble containing the Leafs in the opening period, but Thomas Vanek scored with 11 seconds remaining in the first period to cut the lead to 2-1.
The Sabres successfully killed off a 5-on-3, but Clarke MacArthur beat Miller for the Leafs’ third goal of the night.
About a minute later, the Sabres came to life. Jason Pominville took a wrist shot that found its way past James Reimer. The goal was Pominville’s 20th of the season, giving him five consecutive years with at least 20 goals. Just 30 seconds later, Rob Niedermayer took advantage of a Toronto turnover and backhanded a shot past Reimer and tied the game at three.
The stunned Toronto team used its timeout as the Sabres worked their way right back into the game.
The Leafs got back in front with a goal from Mikhail Grabovski, who scored his 29th of the season.
Buffalo got its first power play in the third period, but they couldn’t take advantage of it.
Reimer embellished a goaltender interference call to draw a penalty. The Sabres found themselves shorthanded with just a few minutes to go. Buffalo were able to draw a penalty and use a 6-on-4 for the last minute of play, but couldn’t tie the game.
The loss ended the Sabres three game winning streak and brought the Leafs five points back of Buffalo. To add insult to injury, the Hurricanes defeated the Capitals and moved to just three points out of eighth.
On a positive note, the Sabres killed off all five penalties on Tuesday, making it 47 consecutive penalties killed against toronto.
Ryan Miller stopped 31 of 35 shots in the loss and Reimer allowed three goals on 31 shots.
MacArthur earned three points against his former team as the Leafs kept themselves alive with a 4-3 victory over Buffalo.