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Maple Leafs 4 v. Sabres 3: Job Done

  Corsi and Fenwick | EV Face Offs | H2H Time On Ice

Game Summary | Event Summary | Die By The Blade Recap

When this little dalliance with a playoff push began we looked at the schedule and figured that Toronto would need to win three games against the Sabres and one against Carolina in regulation. At that point, the Leafs had lost five straight games to the Hurricanes and the Buffalo Sabres had beaten the Leafs in 13 of the previous 14 games. Pretty bleak to say the least. In fact, the last time the Leafs had beaten the Sabres three times in a row, coincidentally all in regulation but I mean three consecutive wins at all, came nine years ago:

  • 2-0 on March 23, 2002
  • 3-2 on November 15, 2002
  • 3-1 on November 30, 2002

But as we've noticed, this isn't our usual Leafs team. Aside from being extremely young, they have also shown themselves to be resilient. After some great work building a 3-1 lead was washed out in 30 seconds, Ron Wilson called a timeout. For those of us that remember the Paul Maurice era, we remember that the way things normally go against Buffalo is that the coach waits to call a timeout until they are trailing and the game is lost. This time, it served to settle down the players, although Ron Wilson doubted it's efficacy, and the Leafs regained their lead courtesy of Mikhail Grabovski. There were some scrambly play in the last minute with the Sabres' net empty but Reimer held strong.

  1. Clarke MacArthur killed his former team. Along with his goal, he added an assist and set the game winner on its way with a beauty pass to Phil Kessel that helped create a little breakaway for Grabovski.
  2. Nazem Kadri has been a much better player on this second call up. His first assist tonight came as he picked the defencman's pocket and drove the net while his second saw his shiftiness and vision on display. That gives him five points in seven games.
  3. Dion Phaneuf leads the Leafs with 12 points in the 14 games that the team has played in March. The bounces have definitely started going his way but taken as a package he's certainly getting to the level of production that the team needs from their highest paid player.

Wilson's presser and the game in six highlights after the jump.

Ron Wilson Post-Game

Game In Six Highlights