The newest Sabre, Brandon Montour, arrived in Toronto to meet his teammates and witness a stunning defeat. The Toronto Maple Leafs scored four times in the second period en route to a 5-3 victory Monday night at Scotiabank Arena.
Buffalo (29-25-8) have yet to win back-to-back games since December. In the second period, the Sabres allowed four straight goals — three of which happened in a two-minute window and goaltender Carter Hutton was pulled promptly after.
Toronto’s Frederik Gauthier had a goal and an assist for his first multipoint game in the NHL.
“[Carter Hutton] has been such a key part of our team this year,” Captain Jack Eichel said following the game. “So you can’t really blame Hutts for some of the stuff that was happening. That’s on us, not Hutts.”
Eichel was able to strike first for his team on a power play in the first period. He scored again just nine seconds into the third period. Sam Reinhart had a power play goal, his 18th of the season, and an assist, and Rasmus Dahlin had two assists.
Buffalo was outshooting a disorganized Leafs team, 16-6, after the first period. The second period got ugly, starting with Tavares tying the game with his 35th goal of the season off a deflection from teammate Jake Muzzin. Then, Matthews netted his 30th goal of the season to take the 2-1 lead. It didn’t stop there — 28 seconds later, Gauthier received a pass from the center from Jake Gardiner and backhanded for a 3-1 lead about six minutes into the second period. By putting in Linus Ullmark, Buffalo couldn’t catch a break. Ennis capitalized with a breakaway goal for a 4-1 lead with less than seven minutes left in the second.
Frederik Andersen made 31 saves for the Maple Leafs, holding onto their second win after a three-game losing streak. Ullmark made 19 saves during his time of play.
The Sabres head to Philadelphia to face off at 7 p.m. Tuesday night. Montour will be joining his new teammates, and fans can only hope he’ll adjust quickly enough to save playoff hopes.