The Sabres entered Toronto on Tuesday night positioned 2nd in the Atlantic Division, and 3 points ahead of the Maple Leafs. They would look to further cushion that gap on the Division rival, with Sabres captain Jack Eichel carrying a 16-game point streak into the game.
Buffalo went down early in the first period, as Frederik Gauthier capitalized on a low blocker shot that beat Linus Ullmark less than 5 minutes into the first period to put the Leafs up 1-0, a score that would hold up through the first.
The middle frame saw Toronto take a commanding 3-0 lead thanks to a pair of 2 highlight reel goals courtesy of Auston Matthews, his 20th and 21st of the season. Mitch Marner registered his 250th career point on the second goal.
The Sabres had a breath of life in the third period, coming to within one goal to make it 4-3, off of goals from Rasmus Dahlin, Eichel, and Kyle Okposo. Eichel extended his personal point streak to 17 games, while Dahlin scored his first since coming back from injury and Okposo banged one in close to continue his productive string of games of late.
The Maple Leafs would score an empty-net goal with Ullmark pulled late in the frame to make it 5-3, and effectively tuck the win away for Toronto.
Buffalo falls to 16-12-7 on the year and is now only 1 point ahead of the Maple Leafs in the Atlantic. The Sabres are back at it in Philadelphia on Thursday night to take on the Flyers with a 7 pm puck drop.