Phil Kessel, JVR, Dion Phaneuf, Oh my! - Leafs: 3, Sabres: 1

Good thing it loops - I could watch it forever.

The Toronto Maple Leafs beat the Buffalo Sabres thanks to great play by Dion Phaneuf, Phil Kessel, and James Van Riemsdyk.

The first period had the Leafs trading chances with the Sabres, and Tyler Ennis opened the scoring (Carl Gunnarsson gave up the inside), but then it was all Toronto all the time. I'm gonna put the Game In Six right up front, because you need to watch some of the Leafs' downright beautiful goals.

Phil. Fucking. Kessel. I've stopped mentioning his good play in the recaps, because it should just be understood that unless I mention otherwise, he had a good game, but last night's was out of this world. His passes on the Dion Phaneuf and James van Riemsdyk goals were incredible. A nice one-touch pass on the Phaneuf goal, and Miller bites so hard on the fake, he's basically a decorative net ornament by the time that the puck makes contact with JVR's stick. A couple posts on the night, too.

Beyond the two goals, James Van Riemsdyk had some very nice chances and some very good play in 1:44 of PK time. Schenn-for-JVR trade is the gift that keeps on giving.

Nazem Kadri, Clarke MacArthur, and Leo Komarov looked downright deadly, and I'm surprised they didn't put one home (Chaim Chimmons has them for six scoring chances generated!). Kadri had two beautiful puck-in-the-feet moves on the same rush, and still came away with a shot to Miller's glove. The kid is talented and creative.

Cody Franson did some beautiful work on the power play tonight. Mobile, distributing the puck, threatening with the shot. It helps that the Sabres' PK looked awful, but this was one of the best games for the Leafs' special teams that I can remember in years.

Ben Scrivens made some good saves and got some rough contact. Brown took a penalty defending Scrivens' honor, or whatever, but the Sabres ran him again in the second. It would be cool if enforcers were a real thing, but let's be honest: they're not. No one cares that McLaren and Scott fought basically just to justify their paychecks.

Randy Carlyle: Dion Phaneuf scored a power play goal by shifting to the right side. On the next power play, the pairing was Dion on the left, Mike Kostka on the right. Why? Who does this? I'm starting to think that Carlyle has some hate against defensemen playing on their off side, but it's clear that Phaneuf's offense is much, much better when he's a right defenseman.

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