Sep 22, 2013; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Jonathan Bernier (45) makes a glove save as defenseman Korbinian Holzer (55) ties up Buffalo Sabres forward Corey Tropp (78) during the third period at the Air Canada Centre. Toronto defeated Buffalo 5-3. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

Gloves Fly As Sabres Fall To Toronto Again 5-3


The Buffalo Sabres were back in action tonight, again facing the Toronto Maple Leafs, 24 hours after the longest Sabres shootout in history.

Ryan Miller was back in net for tonight’s game against Jonathan Bernier.

Toronto jumped on Buffalo early, Tyler Bozak centered a pass to Phil Kessel, who tipped the puck into the goal only 1:35 into the opening period. The assist was credited to Bozak and Carter Ashton.

Sep 22, 2013; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Buffalo Sabres forward Mikhail Grigorenko (25) and defenceman Nikita Zadorov (61) celebrate a goal by defenseman Jamie McBain (4) against the Toronto Maple Leafs during the third period at the Air Canada Centre. Toronto defeated Buffalo 5-3. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

Both teams traded shots back and forth, until the 10:01 mark of the first, with Trevor Smith catching Ryan Miller out of net and tallying Toronto’s second goal on a 3-on-1 with Tyler Myers as the lone defenseman back. The assist was credited to Jake Gardiner.

With Toronto ahead by the two goals, Buffalo picked up the pace a bit.

Nikita Zadorov wristed a beautiful top shelf shot with 26 seconds remaining in the first period to break Toronto’s shutout bid.

At the end of the period, Toronto led 2-1. Toronto also led on shots 14-9.

The second period started with a flurry of shots from Buffalo. But those shots just weren’t enough. Jonathan Bernier remained very intact in net, refusing to budge, stifling the Buffalo offense.

With 12:34 to go in the second, Buffalo outshot the Leafs 6-2.

Three minutes later, a turnover at the Toronto blue line forced a 3-on-2 chance. Phil Kessel scored a wrister just outside the slot to put away his second goal of the night with an assist from Carter Ashton and Jonathan Bernier.

A minute later, Toronto extended it’s lead to 4-1 with a tally from Josh Leivo. The assists were given to James van Reimsdyk and Joe Colborne. Van Reimsdyk, on a lone breakaway, was unable to convert, but instead rifled a pass to Leivo who one-timed the puck into the net.

At the end of two, Toronto led the whole stat sheet, 4-1 and shot count of 25-20.

The start of the third showed promise for the Sabres, applying pressure early on and making Toronto work for the win.

That break came at 8:31 of the third, where newcomer Jamie McBain ripped a slapshot past Bernier on the power-play to close the gap to 4-2. McBain’s goal was assisted by Joel Armia and Mikhail Grigorenko.

Buffalo didn’t stop there. About a minute later, Jamie McBain looked as if he had done it again, taking another shot that made it into the

back of the net with a deflection from Corey Tropp to come within one of Toronto.

With that, sparks started flying and tensions rose between the two teams. Thus started………….a brawl!

A bit of chirping between John Scott and Phil Kessel led to some grappling and fists being thrown. Everybody on the ice soon partnered off and even Ryan Miller and Jonathan Bernier threw some punches.

After the fights, everyone involved, which totaled 13 people, were taken into the dressing rooms for the remainder of the game. Backups Matt Hackett and Drew MacIntyre were placed in net to replace Miller and Bernier.

David Clarkson was also assessed a 10 minute penalty for leaving the bench to fight, and will also likely face a 10 game regular season suspension.

With over 9 minutes to play, the game resumed and at the 14:46 mark, Toronto put the nail in the coffin with an unassisted goal by Jake Gardiner.

The game remained very scrappy and minor fights continued throughout.

At the buzzer, Toronto handed Buffalo their first regulation loss, 5-3.

Buffalo now stands at 3-1-1 and return home to face the Columbus Blue Jackets on Wednesday.

Video highlights can be found here on sabres.nhl.com.

 

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  • erico

    i think we acheived a lot in this game. its only preseason. The consistency of Armia Foligno and Tropp was nice to see. I dont blame Miller for his loss in the fight. Bernier was able to get his goalie padding off therefore took the upper hand. Its nice to see how much of a pussy phil kessel really is. I know John Scott is a big guy but its preseason. Have a little fun! and dont slash someone while hes fighting someone else. Idiot

    • Jes

      No way, Armia and Ristolainen should see some time to in the AHL. We do not want to pull another Grigorenko situation where we put the youngsters in waaaaaay before they are ready. They need time to get used to North American hockey and also to the size of the ice. McBain deserves to start on opening day against Detroit with a good showing in the preseason. I wouldn’t have Ristolainen or Armia in the Sabres main roster at least until they have played about 20 or so games in the AHL. I’d rather have Kaleta as a reserve than McCormick. I’d love to have a deal of Stafford and Kaleta for a 2nd rounder and a midlevel prospect from someone. Which would clear some room for Flynn and Armia.

      • erico

        Armia and Risto are ready and will play opening night. they have been outstanding every game hey play besides who the hell is good enough to play with Hodgson and Vanek? NOBODY! Armia is the only guy who seems to be creating amazing chemistry

        • Jes

          First off calm the hell down guy.

          What about Foligno on that top line? How come you didn’t mention him? He had better chemistry IMO with that line than Armia did.

          Traverse city? Is absolutely nothing, it’s basically 19 year olds playing one another. It has no way has effect on how they will play in the actual NHL. If all teams were like the Flames or Panthers then maybe you could use Traverse city as a good molding clay for the NHL as they are both pretty shitty teams. They definitely need seasoning in the AHL. They aren’t Crosby, Stamkos or Tavares.

          And where in the world did you hear that Grigorenko was going to be on the 3rd line? I’m hearing Ennis is switching to wing.

  • acpilkin

    Kessel better receive a suspension as well. You can’t hack at someone like that and then spear them later on when he’s grappling with someone else. No class. But then again… it’s Phil Kessel.

  • Jes

    LOL I was laughing so hard when Miller got beat down (Yes, I religiously hate the guy). But I was surprised he accepted the fight he usually gets a cheap shot in or and then he lets a tiny little rumble ensue. Good on him for actually throwing down. I used to love Phil Kessel but after his hacking BS today and other crap he pulled he’s a no one to. Team did good. Clarkson better get a suspension but knowing the NHL they will end up screwing us over like they did with past suspensions to the opposition.