Sad Leopold. - Tom Szczerbowski
The Toronto Maple Leafs defeat the Buffalo Sabres 4-3 in overtime thanks to some great play by Matt Frattin, James Reimer, and Cody Franson.
The Toronto Maple Leafs beat the Buffalo Ryan Millers 4-3 on an overtime game winning goal by Matt Frattin. The Leafs opened the scoring as Nikolai Kulemin gained the zone, dumped the puck to himself and recovered it before making a very nice pass out to Nazem Kadri at the top of the circles. Kadri rifled a shot off the crossbar and McClement kicked the rebound to himself before shovelling the puck in to the net.
Jason Pominville scored to tie it after Mike Brown was called for "touching the puck with your hand after a faceoff," which is a stupid rule. Mike Brown, who sustained an upper body injury in this game, gave Patrick Kaleta what he deserved [Editor's Note: Lindy Ruff had a pretty level headed reaction to the hit. Call Ripley's] - which had the Leafs headed to the PK - before being challenged to a Mike Weber Hugging Match which counted as an instigator for the Sabres.
In the second period Andrej Sekera dropped down behind James van Riemsdyk and Carl Gunnarsson didn't get up to him, which allowed the defenceman to beat James Reimer up high. The Leafs would again respond, as Cody Franson shot the puck to Miller's pad, as Matt Frattin drove to the net, corralled the rebound, and scored the goal. He's such a good boy. Franson would pop up on the score sheet again, as he took a slapper from the point and beat Miller cleanly to take a one goal lead going in to the third. Grigorenko tied it up by sending Mike Weber's rebound through James Reimer's 5-hole. It was Mikhail Grigorenko's first NHL goal because of course it is.
But then: MATT FRATTIN SCORED WITH 1.4 SECONDS LEFT IN OVERTIME!
Man of the MATTch: It's Matt Frattin. Two goals, including the beautiful game winner. He saw 16 minutes of ice time and generated some good offensive zone plays. Such a great release on that OT goal - it's a good thing the Leafs have found room for him in the lineup . Mark Fraser deserves the scratch when Mike Komisarek gets back from his mysterious and presumably hilarious fiberglass injury.
How good does Franson have to be before the Leafs feel like they have to play him? Despite one goal and one assist, he saw just 13 minutes of ice time - last in ice time for Leafs defencemen. There seems to be no rhyme or reason as to why Franson continues to get limited minutes while Kostka runs all over the ice. Gunnarsson saw big minutes, though he did make a couple of defensive zone errors, so maybe the Leafs are looking to increase his ice time.
Reimer also looked good. In general, the goals came off rebounds and broken plays, and he kept us in the game when it counted. There's no doubt he's the number one in Toronto, and anyone who suggested Scrivens might be stealing the job should consider themselves crazy.
Honorable mention to everyone who helped make the Sabres' Arena into another Leafs Home Game. It's so nice to have Leafs noise in at least three NHL buildings.