The Toronto Maple Leafs and Buffalo Sabres met for the second time in this young season on Tuesday night in Buffalo. Both teams came into the game on losing streaks, and despite a come from behind effort by the Sabres the Leafs had the final laugh with a 4-3 overtime win on a goal by Marlie callup Matt Frattin.
The Leafs were able to sneak four goals past Ryan Miller, who has looked sharped through the first six games and proved once again that when he isn’t standing on his head the Sabres don’t have a chance.
Mikhail Grigorenko found the back of the net for his first NHL goal, the same day he was told he would be staying in Buffalo. Captain Jason Pominville and Andrej Sekera also scored for the Sabres in the losing effort.
James Reimer came up big for the Leafs making 29 saves while Miller made 20 saves and fell victim to a poor defencive play by Jordan Leopold. Both goalies let him some questionable goals: For Reimer, the 3rd goal by Grigorenko and Miller would like to have the game winning goal back that just sneaked under his shoulder and found the back of the net just before time expired.
Frattin who has been on fire since being re-called from the Marlies scored two goals, defenceman Cody Franson managed to score his first from the point and Jay McClement opened the scoring at 9:25 into the first period.
The Sabres trailed for most of the game and showed when Miller isn’t there to save their bacon, working out a win is a tough task. As usual there were some defencive gaffs that proved costly and some saves that should have been made.
Sabres tough guy Patrick Kaleta left the game with an upper body injury after being hit from behind by Mike Brown who got 2 minutes for boarding and had to answer by dropping the gloves with Mike Weber who was handed a 10 minute misconduct. Head coach Lindy Ruff said after the game that Kaleta was in the hospital being treated for a neck injury.
In the very least the Sabres were able to pick up a single point in a crucial divisional match-up against their divisional rivals. While two points and breaking the slump would have been nice, one point will still help the Sabres in the long run as every point counts in this shortened season.
The Sabres wont have much time to lick their wounds as they take on another divisional foe the Boston Bruins on Thursday night and are already six points behind the division leading Bruins.