The 5th and final installment of the 2014 Sabres vs Leafs series did not disappoint in terms of action and excitment.
The first period started out slow with the leafs taking a 12-8 edge in shots and ultimately a 1-0 lead thanks to goal by Phil Kessel. Kessel's 22nd tally of the year was set up by a bad giveway in the offensive zone by Christian Ehrhoff.
The second period was a complete reversal of the first as the chances for both teamsj were aplenty early on. Tyler Myers smooth skating/puck handling set up Matt Ellis for a tip in to knot the game at one in the first 4 minutes. Buffalo kept the pressure on and even ended up with a penalty shot but unfortunately for the blue and gold, Zemgus Girgensons was on a backhand attempt by James Reimer.
It didn't take Buffalo long to recover though as Matt Moulson decided to keep the puck on a 2 on 1 and ripped it top shelf to give Buffalo a 2-1 lead. There was some speculation as to whether or not the puck actually crossed the goalline but any controversey was nullified as the evidence of the twine moving proved the tally true.
The Leafs would quickly get an answer as NIkolai Kulemin snuck in from the point and buried a wrist shot less than a minute later. Less than 5 minutes after that it was Morgan Rielly putting home his 2nd mark of the year. Toronto. The 2nd period scoring would end but the action would not as Dion Phaneuf took a two minute hooking penalty very late in the period sending the Sabres to the power play and the teams to the locker room with the leafs nursing a 2-1 advantage.
Less than a minute after the puck dropped to start the third period it was Cody Hodgson backhanding one past James Reimer to tie the contest up at 3. It was Hodgsons 2nd goal in as many nights and 3rd in 3 nights if you count the shootout winner in his first game back from injury on Sunday night. The rest of the third was simliar to the first, Ryan miller again made some spectacular saves including two directly off his facemask as the both teams failed to score in the final 19 minutes.
In overtime it was almost ALL Toronto as the Leafs continously pressured Ryan Miller, who answered the call each time. Brayden McNabb took down a Leaf in front of the net and in doing so took a holding penalty which put Toronto on the power play with 2:27 left in the extra session. The Sabres did a fine job killing the penalty, clearing multiple times and giving up minimal chances and the final 30 seconds wound down with nobody finding the cage as the teams headed to a shootout. Miller finishes up the game stopping 36 of 29 Toronto shots, the Sabres would tally 30 shots.
9:21 Phil Kessel (22) Unassisted
3:21 Matt Ellis (2) Tyler Myers, Mark Pysyk
6:34 Matt Moulson Unassisted
7:23: Nikolai Kulemin (6) Peter Holland
11:22 Morgan Rielly (2) Nazem Kadri, Mason Raymond
:43 Cody Hodgson (10) Tyler Ennis, Christian Ehrhoff
GOAL scored by James van Riemsdyk on Ryan Miller(Snap 38 ft)
GOAL scored by Matt Moulson on James Reimer(Snap 24 ft)
GOAL scored by Joffrey Lupul on Ryan Miller(Wristshot 27 ft)