Maple Leafs defeat Buffalo 3-2

Kyle Okposo and Jeff Skinner score for Buffalo in the loss

Pat Malacaro
September 22, 2018 - 7:09 pm

Photo: Timothy T. Ludwig - USA TODAY Sports


A third period power play goal was enough to lift the Toronto Maple Leafs to a 3-2 win over the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday night at KeyBank Center.

The Sabres got off to the quick lead as Kyle Okposo took the shot after Sam Reinhart won the offensive zone face-off and provided the screen in front of the net. Jack Eichel fed the puck to Okposo to record an assist on the goal along with Reinhart. The goal came with Adam Cracknell in the penalty box for delay of game. 

Andreas Johnsson was called from cross checking a few minutes later, but Buffalo failed to score on their second power play chance of the night. Right after the penalty kill, Toronto had their best scoring chance of the period thanks to a turnover. Rasmus Dahlin gave the puck away to Auston Matthews in Buffalo's end, but the defender recovered in time to disrupt the shot attempt. 

Carter Hutton made 12 saves in the first period to keep Toronto off of the scoreboard.

Tyler Randell and Clark each dropped their gloves and removed their helmets to engage in a fight less than two minutes into the period. After landing a couple of punches, each player was assessed a five-minute major for fighting.

Ex-Sabres forward Tyler Ennis created a nice scoring chance that was finished by Matthews to even the score early in the middle frame. Ennis and Patrick Marleau assisted the game-tying goal. Less than three minutes later, Jeremy Bracco tipped home a shot in front of the net to give the Leafs their first lead of the night. Just over seven minutes into the frame, Toronto has out-shot Buffalo 9-1.

Buffalo's first penalty kill came late in the second frame as Rasmus Ristolainen was called for interference. Jeff Skinner scored with just second to go in the second period to tie the score at 2-2. Again, it was Reinhart and Eichel that help to key in on the score. They each receive assists on the score.

Andrew Nielsen and Tage Thompson each received fighting majors after dropping the gloves early in the third period. Thompson challenged Nielsen after the Toronto rear guard delivered a questionable hit in the Sabres' zone.

Toronto would take the lead for good at the 10:22 mark of the third after Kyle Okposo was penalized for delay of game. Defenseman Calle Rosen let go of a shot from the point on the power play that got through traffic and beat Hutton for the go-ahead goal..

The Sabres out-shot Toronto 14-7 in the third period, but could not get the equalizer. Calvin Pickard took over in net in the third for Toronto and stopped all 14 shots on goal in the win.


Goal Summary:

First Period:

BUF: 4:17 - Kyle Okposo (1) PPG (Jack Eichel, Sam Reinhart)

Second Period:

BUF: 19:47 - Jeff Skinner (1) (Sam Reinhart, Jack Eichel)
TOR: 2:42 - Auston Matthews (1) (Tyler Ennis, Patrick Marleau). 5:37 - Jeremy Bracco (1) (Justin Holl, Adam Brooks)

Third Period:

TOR: 10:32 - Calle Rosen (1) PPG (Adam Brooks, Trevor Moore)


Penalty Summary:

First Period:

TOR: 4:08 - Adam Cracknell (Delay of Game - 2 min.); 9:25 - Andreas Johnsson (Cross-Checking - 2 min.)

Second Period:

BUF: 1:45 - Tyler Randell (Fighting - 5 min.); 17:25 - Rasmus Ristolainen (Interference - 2 min.)
TOR: 1:45 - Emerson Clark (Fighting - 5 min.); 7:27 - Nikita Zaitsev (Holding - 2 min.)

Third Period:

BUF: 4:03 - Tage Thompson (Fighting - 5 min.); 9:20 - Kyle Okposo (Delay of Game - 2 min.)
TOR: 4:03 - Andreas Johnsson (Fighting - 5 min.)

Shots on Goal:

BUF: 35 (9, 12, 14)
TOR: 31 (12, 12, 7)

Power Plays:

BUF: 1 for 4 (25%)
TOR: 1 for 2 (50%)


BUF: Carter Hutton - 32 saves
TOR: Frederik Andersen - 22 saves; Calvin Pickard - 14 saves

Three Stars:

  1. Sam Reinhart - BUF
  2. Auston Matthews - TOR
  3. Jeff Skinner - BUF

What's Next:

The Sabres will travel to Clinton, NY to take part in the Kraft Hockeyville festivities against the Columbus Blue Jackets. The only place to hear the play-by-play from Dan Dunleavy and Rob Ray is on the flagship home of the Sabres Radio Network - WGR Sports Radio 550. The puck drops at seven o'clock on WGR. 

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