First Period

The Leafs look pretty ineffective until the fourth line comes out, and yes it's weird to say that. Pontus Holmberg made the zone time happen for them, though.

Ha! The Tavares line gets through the neutral zone, and JT just rifles that past the goalie.

1-0 Leafs

I love captain goals.

Holmberg gives the puck away, and Ilya Samsonov comes to the rescue.

Leafs are thinking too hard about what to do with the puck and are losing control to the reacting Sabres a lot.

Connor Dewar takes a penalty while defending. A thing that's a thing for him, like with Bobby McMann.

William Nylander out to start the PK because the Leafs are really short of choices. The PK is actually not bad, considering.

Oh, lovely. Dewar in tough just out of the box as the Leafs can't get control of the puck. He flips the puck out of play and back to the box he goes. Poor guy.

The second PK is even better. Aggressive and controlled both. Samsonov with some excellent saves at the end.

Okay, guys, that was a close one saved by the post, tighten up. The Sabres are running away with the game despite the score.

Another great play by the Tavares line as Nylander passes it out to McMann. UPL has this one.

Buffalo takes a defensive zone penalty with just over two minutes to go.

UPL with a very good save to prevent number 60, and the Leafs allow two shorthanded rushes.


Leafs are allowing a lot in their own zone. News at 11.

Corsi is even at five-on-five, but the Sabres are at 60% Expected Goals. Consider all situations, and it looks like the Leafs never quite made it to the rink.

Second Period

Nylander with a pretty one that sails just wide.

Wow, the Leafs are terrible at getting the puck out of their zone. Matt Knies, Nick Robertson and Holmberg, all of them awful. Terrible. They gave the puck away three times. Bench them all! And now I'll rewind and watch their goal...

2-0 Leafs

Knies figures out which way is north, and Robertson just rifles that puck.

The Matthews line goes to town on UPL, but no one can score.

Zac Benson takes a penalty because Nylander is too much to handle.

I like the power play with Connor Timmins better than Timothy Liljegren, but that's about all you can say about it.

Matthews bobbles the puck and turns it into a penalty on Benson. Whoops.

Knies gets some PK time, which is good. I think he would be a regular there if he'd played in the AHL for a year first.

McCabe does the over the glass trick. So more PK practice!

J.J. Peterka just misses. And then again a few seconds later. Buffalo only had one shot allegedly, but Samsonov sure worked hard.

Knies seems to know how to do zone exits against Buffalo, and he gets Robertson another scoring chance.


Leafs with a dominant period, particularly considering the poor quality first. You can see here how Buffalo's offence is just too diffuse to be any good.

Everything runs through the defencemen.

Third Period

The period opens with a Tage Thompson shot on Samsonov.

Domi gets the puck and moves in on the Sabres zone, and the ensuing play is so convoluted and unlikely to succeed, it's amazing. No number 60 out of that.

Nylander hands the puck to Alex Tuch, and Samsonov saves his bacon.

The crowd is booing, and I thought the Sabres had taken the penalty. I forgot this is a home game. Simon Benoit to the box, and the crowd calls a dive.

Jeff Skinner get the stick up on fellow old man Brodie, and the Leafs will get nearly a full power play, unfortunately.

Wow. This power play is baaaaaad.

Sammy with a great stop on a shorty rush from Cozens.

Sammy with two great stops on a rush from Skinner out of the box and the big giant rebound he gives up (anyone would short of peak Carey Price on that one.)


3-0 Leafs

And the crowd goes wild. So, so, so enjoying that this is in Buffalo.

For some reason they're making the teams finish this game, and McCabe goes of for a defending under pressure move. Sabres pass but don't shoot much.

Rasmus Dahlin with one of his dirty hits Brodie, so his big brother comes in loaded for bear. Matthews wisely grabs Thompson and talks about wrist shots. McMann with Peterka in a headlock all casual like is a high level AHL insult. Peterka is a bit excitable and an almost brawl breaks out.

Ref gives all ten players a misconduct to clear the ice. Good call. That's how this should always be sorted out. Leafs with a power play out of it for the final minute. Will Ryan Reaves play on the PP?

He does! That might be a high level NHL coach insult.

Leafs win! And get Sammy the shutout mostly by letting Sammy get the shutout.


Samsonov played great. Robertson, Knies and Holmberg were very good. Dewar was good on the PK. Oh, and some guy got his 60th.

Next game is Monday vs the Panthers. Cake Day!