Continuing their home and home series with the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Buffalo Sabres traveled across the border to face off on day 2.
Following a 3-1 victory last night, Buffalo came into Toronto with a slow start in the first two periods, falling 4-2 despite a hard-fought third period.
After beliefs that Ryan Miller would be in net tonight, Jhonas Enroth took the net tonight, facing James Reimer.
Toronto scored first, with James van Riemsdyk seeking revenge from being robbed a goal in the last minute of play last night. Ripping a slapshot to put the Leafs up 1-0.
A Christian Ehrhoff holding call led to another van Riemsdyk goal on the power play.
Toronto led the Sabres, 2-0, going into the first intermission.
For the first, Buffalo lacked a lot on offense. Although only trailing 10-6 in shots, the Maple Leafs seemed to have complete control over the game.
Hoping to find their legs and break out of this flat play, Buffalo came out flying to start the second period.
Throwing hits all over the ice and skating deep and around the Leafs, something had to give. Buffalo had gotten their fair shots on net, but Reimer managed to stay even to the task.
David Clarkson threw a risky check near the Buffalo bench on Jamie McBain. Luckily McBain walked away, but Steve Ott decided to speak up.
Immediately heading to the ice, Ott exchanged a few words with Clarkson, and the gloves were off! Throwing rapid punches, Ott managed to take Clarkson off his feet, but the two regained their footing and kept throwing punches.
Electricity was in the air of the Air Canada Center following the fight.
Toronto pushed Buffalo further with Nikolai Kulemin receiving a pass at the top of the slot and wristing a shot past Enroth.
At the second intermission, Buffalo trailed the Leafs by a score of 3-0. Buffalo held an 18-17 edge in shots through two periods of play.
The start of the third was a new game for the Sabres.
Jamie McBain finally got the Sabres on the board at the 2:15 mark of the third, with Marcus Foligno freeing the puck up and then passed by Zemgus Girgensons across the ice, which McBain ripped a slapshot at the top of the right faceoff circle over Reimer.
Now with a new life, Buffalo was refocused on the game.
Some bumping came about 5 minutes into the third. John Scott came into the Leafs zone and on an attempt to check Dion Phaneuf, Phaneuf bailed out. That was the extent of the play, until Phaneuf attempted to confront Scott, only to be acquainted by Cody McCormick. After throwing a cheap cross check to McCormick, a small battle occurred in the Leafs zone, with Scott being ripped down to the ground from behind by Frazer McClaren.
After all of this, John Scott and McClaren were escorted out of the game, both were assessed roughing minors and game misconducts.
Feeling the energy now, Buffalo immediately took advantage of the spark, with Tyler Ennis slapping a one-timer from Matt Moulson over the glove of Reimer. With 13 minutes remaining, Toronto’s three goal lead was now cut to 3-2. Cody Hodgson received the second assist on Ennis’ goal.
Through almost nine minutes of the third period, Buffalo outshot Toronto, 9-2.
Toronto put the knife in the game with a rocket of a slap shot over Enroth’s left shoulder from Mason Raymond at the 18:56 mark of the third.
At the buzzer, Buffalo lost to the Maple Leafs 4-2, splitting the home and home series. The shot count read very impressive with Buffalo holding a 17-5 count in the third, with Buffalo firing off a massive 35-22 total shot count.
Buffalo returns home on Tuesday night to take on the impressive St. Louis Blues at 7pm. Read all about tonight’s game and other Sabres news right here on SabreNoise!