The Sabres battled back from a pair of two-goal deficits on Thursday and picked up a 5-4 shootout win over the Maple Leafs. Steve Ott notched the shootout winner in front of a raucous First Niagara Center crowd.
The two teams wasted little time in providing the Sabres, and Leafs, fans in attendance with fireworks as Ott and Dion Phaneuf started chirping at each other early. Then, just 2:09 in, John Scott and Frazer McLaren traded punches right off a faceoff while Colton Orr jumped Patrick Kaleta and started firing away. Orr was given a game misconduct and the Sabres ended up with a four-minute power play, but failed to capitalize.
Later in the period, Ott made his presence felt, flattening Mikhail Grabovski along the boards. After getting tangled up with Phaneuf moments later, Ott blew the Toronto defenseman a kiss with his glove and was slapped with an unsportsmanlike conduct call. It took the Leafs just 16 seconds to score on the power play as Tyler Bozak ripped a shot into the net for the 1-0 lead. Toronto made it 2-0 moments later when Nazem Kadri tipped a Nikolai Kulemin pass past Miller's right pad. Tyler Ennis got Buffalo on the board late in the opening period, taking a pass from Ott behind the net, and stuffing a shot between Reimer's pads as the power play expired.
Grabovski deflected a Jake Gardiner shot past Miller at 8:52 of the 2nd period to put Toronto back up by a pair, but Marcus Foligno made it a one-goal game once again less than two minutes later. After losing his footing while trying to deke Reimer on a breakaway chance, Foligno gathered a rebound moments later and slammed it home to make it a 3-2 game. Less than a minute after that, Pominville tied it with his 10th of the season and first since March 2nd, snapping an eight-game scoreless streak. Pominville took the pass through traffic from Cody Hodgson behind the Leafs net and snapped a shot over Reimer's glove to pull Buffalo even 3-3.
Christian Ehrhoff put the Sabres ahead for the first time just 22 seconds into the final period, blasting a power play shot by Reimer's blocker. Kadri tied it up once again with a power play goal of his own, however, later in the period. The two sides would head to overtime and then a shootout, where Ott ended it in the 6th round, sneaking the puck by Reimer's left pad. Miller stopped Clarke MacArthur on the ensuing attempt and Buffalo skated away with a 5-4 victory, good for the team's second win in a row.
The Sabres return to Montreal, where they won earlier this week, on Saturday for a 7 p.m. faceoff. Hear the call on WGR 550 and the Buffalo Sabres Radio Network with Rick Jeanneret and Rob Ray.
8:48 - TOR - Tyler Bozak (PPG) (9) (Phil Kessel, Dion Phaneuf)
10:02 - TOR - Nazem Kadri (12) (Nikolai Kulemin, Clarke MacArthur)
18:54 - BUF - Tyler Ennis (9) (Steve Ott, Christian Ehrhoff)
2:09 - TOR - Colton Orr (2 min., instigator)
2:09 - TOR - Colton Orr (2 min., cross checking, served by Matt Frattin)
2:09 - TOR - Colton Orr (5 min. major, fighting)
2:09 - TOR - Colton Orr (10 min., game misconduct)
2:09 - TOR - Frazer McLaren (5 min. major, fighting)
2:09 - BUF - Patrick Kaleta (5 min. major, fighting)
2:09 - BUF - John Scott (5 min. major, fighting)
8:32 - BUF - Steve Ott (2 min., unsportsmanlike conduct)
8:52 - TOR - Mikhail Grabovski (7) (Jake Gardiner, Nazem Kadri)
11:39 - BUF - Marcus Foligno (4) (Kevin Porter, Christian Ehrhoff)
12:24 - BUF - Jason Pominville (10) (Cody Hodgson)
6:42 - BUF - Steve Ott (2 min., slashing)
11:48 - TOR - Phil Kessel (2 min., unsportsmanlike conduct)
11:48 - BUF - John Scott (2 min., unsportsmanlike conduct)
13:30 - BUF - Tyler Myers (2 min., interference)
19:39 - TOR - Clarke MacArthur (2 min., slashing)
0:22 - BUF - Christian Ehrhoff (PPG) (3) (Cody Hodgson, Tyler Ennis)
6:33 - TOR - Nazem Kadri (PPG) (13) (Cody Franson, Phil Kessel)
4:57 - BUF - Tyler Ennis (2 min., slashing)
18:43 - TOR - Nikolai Kulemin (2 min., high-sticking)
BUF - Jason Pominville - MISS
TOR - Nazem Kadri - MISS
BUF - Tyler Ennis - MISS
TOR - Tyler Bozak - GOAL
BUF - Drew Stafford - GOAL
TOR - James van Riemsdyk - MISS
BUF - Cody Hodgson - MISS
TOR - Phil Kessel - MISS
BUF - Ville Leino - MISS
TOR - Mikhail Grabovski - MISS
BUF - Steve Ott - GOAL
TOR - Clarke MacArthur - MISS
TOR - James Reimer (32 saves, 36 shots)
BUF - Ryan Miller (30 saves, 34 shots)
TOR - 2 of 4
BUF - 1 of 5
1.) BUF - Christian Ehrhoff (1 G, 2 A)
2.) TOR - Nazem Kadri (2 G, 1 A)
3.) BUF - Tyler Ennis (1 G, 1 A)