Sabres rally late, but lose in shootout


The Buffalo Sabres headed north of the border, for a Friday night match up with the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Air Canada Centre.

From the first puck drop, the Sabres appeared to be locked in for the first period. While Buffalo had their fair share of offensive zone pressure, Toronto surely returned serve. This was evident by a shot total of 15-10 following twenty minutes, Buffalo having the slight advantage.

Throughout the first period, Buffalo would also gain the advantage offensively in the goal department.

The Sabres first tally would come at 7:01 from Matt Moulson, his team-leading 13th of the season. Girgensons and McBain would receive the assists.

Less than a minute later, Buffalo would score somewhat shockingly. It would be John Scott, with his first point and goal as a member of the Buffalo Sabres. Interestingly enough, this was Scott’s second career goal and his 2o0th career NHL game. This was also the first time Scott has scored since November 15, 2009, with the Minnesota Wild.

Heading into the second period, you’d think Buffalo would have the advantage, but that couldn’t have been any more incorrect.

Toronto came out for the second with their hair on fire. Buffalo would have minimal offensive chances, due to Toronto’s complete takeover.

In the second period, Toronto would outshoot Buffalo 17-5, but that wasn’t even the worst part.

The Maple Leafs would get on the score sheet on three separate occasions.

At 11:38 in the second, Jake Gardiner would score his 2nd goal of the season. Less than five minutes later, at 16:25, Peter Holland scored his 6th of the season to tie the game.

Shortly after getting on the power play late in the third, thanks to a poor penalty from John Scott, the Leafs would complete the offensive takeover with their third goal of the period, and the game.

The power play goal would be credited to Phil Kessel, for his 18th of the season.

When comprehending what had just happened, it was safe to assume there was no way that the Buffalo Sabres could’ve had a third period worse than the second period.

Thankfully, that ended up being the case.

While Buffalo struggled to mount great offensive pressure throughout the third, they made up for it late.

Following a hooking penalty at 19:09, the Sabres pulled Ryan Miller to give themselves a 6-on-4 advantage. Just 26 seconds later, Steve Ott would flick a wrister home for his 5th goal of the season. This goal would send the game to overtime.

Buffalo and Toronto were goalless in the extra frame, and this game headed to a shootout.

While the Sabres had two great chances, in which the shooter had Leafs’ goaltender Jonathan Bernier cleanly beat, they could not put the puck home. On the other end of the ice, Joffrey Lupul would score the lone goal for Toronto.

The Sabres fall to 10-24-4, with 24 points on the season.

Buffalo takes the ice again this Sunday afternoon against the Washington Capitals. Puck drops shortly after 5 PM, and the game will be broadcast on MSG.

Ryan Wolfe
Ryan Wolfe
Administrator/Writer at Sabres Hockey Central.
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