From the Locker Room: Sabres-Maple Leafs

Hear from Jack Eichel, Jason Pominville, Linus Ullmark and Phil Housley following the 5-2 loss to Toronto

Jon Simon
March 02, 2019 - 11:41 pm

Photo: John E. Sokolowski - USA TODAY Sports


The Buffalo Sabres went into Toronto on Saturday night with an opportunity to win back-to-back games for the first time in three months. However, the Sabres came up short once again, falling to the Maple Leafs 5-2 at Scotiabank Arena.

Jason Pominville and Conor Sheary both tallied goals in the first period to give the Sabres an early 2-1 lead. Morgan Reilly scored for Toronto with just under 19-seconds left in the opening period to tie the game 2-2 going into the first intermission.

The Maple Leafs would take full control in the second period. The Sabres were able to keep Toronto off the scoreboard for most of the period, but goals from Nic Petan and Nikita Zaitsev in the final five minutes put the Leafs up 4-2 after 40 minutes of play. 

Despite putting 20 shots on goal in the third period, the Sabres failed to register a goal in the final frame. Mitch Marner would score an empty netter with just under two minutes to go to put a bow on the game for Toronto. Linus Ullmark finished the night with 27 saves.

Let's go inside the locker room to see what Jack Eichel, Jason Pominville, Linus Ullmark and Phil Housley had to say following the loss:


Jack Eichel:

On team using game as a "measuring stick" for development: "I think we use every game as a measuring stick. It's a competitive league and any team can beat anybody on any night. Tonight they were better than us."

On playing a good first period: "I thought we played pretty good in the first period. They had a couple chances, we had a couple chances, and they get that one at the end of the first. But I thought we were pretty happy with our game after the first. We had some good chances and good looks."



Jason Pominville:

On giving up late goals in periods and playing through the tough stretch: "It was tough to give one up at the end of the first period and then the same thing in the second. I just feel like the breaks right now aren't going our way. We have to find a way and dig a little deeper. Obviously it hasn't been a fun stretch for anyone, but we have to look at the positives. We did some good things, and we just have to put this behind us and learn from it and go on."

On not scoring in second or third periods: "I thought we threw everything at them. Unfortunately we weren't able to put one in. Definitely had some looks and not a lot of puck luck in the third. I don't think it was from a lack of effort or execution. The goals we gave up were at a costly time and we weren't able to rebound from it."



Linus Ullmark:

On possible interference on goal given up at the end of the first period: "It's part of the game, you know? Nothing we can do about it. I think the refs are making a good decision there allowing it, so nothing I can do about it right now."

On having puck covered before Toronto scored the first goal: "I thought I [had the puck], but I didn't. So that was a good call by the ref. He was standing on the right side too. He could see the puck was loose the whole time."



Phil Housley:

On loss and third period effort: "I'm not going to beat around the bush. It's disappointing we didn't get the result. We didn't meet our standard tonight. In the second we traded chances and unfortunately one went in off a skate. But I liked the way we played in the third period. We get one goal it changes the complexion of the game. But the bottom line is we just didn't get the result this time of year." 

On electing to not challenge Toronto's second goal: "I just thought they got inside position and Rodrigues was pushing their player into our goalie and I just felt we weren't going to win that challenge. Maybe it would've been a good time to take it. But I just look at the third period with all the opportunities we had to get within one goal, to make a difference, and then maybe taking a timeout at the end."


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