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Leafs put up convincing fight in 4-3 loss to Buffalo

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I watched this game. For you.

Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

When two basement teams collide, everyone loses. Dalpe, Hodgson, Moulson and Ellis scored for the Sabres, while Brewer, JVR, and Kadri scored for the Leafs.

The Leafs' top line looked more dangerous tonight than they had in the past, and JVR's backhand goal was downright pretty, and his screen on the Brewer goal was textbook - I daresay the best game he's had in at least a month. But that didn't really apply during 5 on 4, when the Leafs looked pretty miserable. With the first power play of the game, the Leafs failed to actually gain and hold the zone against the league's worst penalty kill for about a minute and a half. The second wasn't that much improved.

Kadri scores the Leafs' third goal on a nice little curl and drag, with Panik crashing the net and muscling a Sabres "defenseman" straight through the slot. Make sure you catch it, because it's downright pretty.

Speaking of, Morgan Rielly is a joy to watch. I'll never not highlight his play. It's just too much fun when he's jumping into the rush, or moving the puck on the power play.

Between the Dalpe goal and the Moulson goal (which was, admittedly while the Leafs were on the PK) it still seems incredibly easy to get to the front of the Leafs' net. Dalpe just sorta walked in there while the rest of the Sabres played keepaway against the world's most passive d-zone play.

Casey Bailey skates like he's always falling forward, and I expect unless he makes some major offseason strides (get it?) he'll be more a Spencer Abbott than a Tyler Bozak. Maybe some day he'll be traded for TJ Brennan.

Bernier really floundered on the Sabres' second goal, but man I don't envy being in that position. He lost sight of the puck when it went behind the net, Sabres with a nice little flea flicker, and Bernier guessed wrong. In a situation like that - protects against one wrap around and then gets a wrap in the other direction - I think he's completely dependent on communication from the defense. No idea if he got it or not.

So there you have it. The final installment in this year's Greatest Tank Battles (the remaining game against Columbus not withstanding).