The Leafs pre-season record is perfect no more. Losing to the Sabres 5-4 tonight, the game was mostly decided by special teams. Four power play goals, one regulation goal coming off an end of penalty rush, and 1 shorthanded goal. 6 special teams goals out of nine. This wasn't a drastically new Leafs team, but again, it's pre-season so I'm burning boats or building arks yet.
In the first period the Maple Leafs came out strong and pressured the Sabres into coughing up an early goal. Stuart Percy scored just two minutes into the game, with an assist coming from Kadri and Loov. Percy scored from the hashmarks as Lupul screen Lehner.
The team was fast on their feet and held the Sabres to few shots during the first half of the period. This would be their advantage as Daniel Winnik stole a pass back to the Sabres blue line off a face off, broke away from the group and scored his first of the pre-seasonalmost half way through the period.
Near the end of the period the Leafs would for shadow what kind of second they'd have as Hunwick would go off for Interference and 30 seconds later Rielly would join him with a tripping call.
The Leafs would kill off the minute and a half 5-on-3 but Marcus Foligno would score at 5-on-4 with 16 seconds left in the period.
Opening up the second the Sabres Captain finally got what was coming to him after taking shots at the Leafs all game (bumping Bernier, trying to slew foot Dion) and was called for slashing one minute in. On the ensuing power play the quadruple A star Matt Frattin would score on a one timer from Mark Arcobello off an offensive zone face off.
Captain Phaneuf would take a cross checking penalty six minutes into the period and Sabres captain Brian Gionta would score on the powerplay. The Leafs would continue to get shots off but the Sabres were in control. It seemed like the Leafs would get a reprieve when Foligno would take a tripping call, but after the penalty was killed Nicolas Deslauriers would score right after the Sabres added their fifth man to tie the game at 3.
15 minutes in Justin Bailey would get 2 minutes for slashing and hopes were on the rise again. Playing with four forwards for the power play can be a risk and the Sabres would exploit this and Ryan O'Rielly would score shorthanded to give the Sabres a 4-3 lead and thats where we'd end the second.
In the third the Sabres would give Robin Lehner a rest and put Nathan Lieuwen in net.
The period is barely three minutes old when Kadri feeds Lupul a pass, rushes the net and tips in the game tying goal. 4-4 a piece.
The teams would go back and forth on shots and seven minutes into the period the Sabres would call a time out. At 6:15 left the Leafs yet another penalty. Mark Arcobello for hooking.
Three quarters of the way through the penalty kill Mark Pysyk (that sounds like a pokemon) would score the Sabres fifth, giving them a 5-4 advantage.
Getting a few shots off, Babcock would call the Leafs a time out with 1:09 remaining.
Bernier gets pull but is put back on the ice after an icing call. These are always tense moments in a game, even when you're reading a stat log.
Bernier is back off the ice and with six seconds left David Legwand would get the empty netter, making it 6-4 Sabres to end the game. Shot totals were 31 Leafs - 32 Sabres.
So that's the game. How'd everyone do? Let's turn to our favourite, most embeddable social media for answers from you, the fans, searching the #TMLTalk hashtag.
Kadri continuing a terrific preseason, this is going to be a great year for him #TMLtalk— David Baker (@dlb1116) September 26, 2015
(This guy is just super)
Lots of unbiased people using this hashtag
There's the Leafs I know and love! Way to lose the lead short handed. #TMLtalk— Andy (@awjrector) September 26, 2015
Okay so that was a bad idea, I don't think I'll be continuing that feature...
So we're down four pre-season games. Hopefully the management is learning lots.
Tomorrow night is the Habs, and I'm sure we'll see Nylander make the Bloo Bloo Blanc et Rouge look silly.