90 seconds of bad play costs the Leafs
BarnBurner Sports Writer
Sunday, February 16, 2020
Final Score, Toronto Maple Leafs 2 - Buffalo Sabres 5
Buffalo, NY - A few days after finding out Andreas Johnsson will miss between eight and ten weeks with a knee injury, the Leafs had to surge on against the Buffalo Sabres. Unfortunately costly mistakes led to another loss just before a tough stretch to end the month, 5-2 final as the Sabres beat the Leafs. Jack Eichel scored the go-ahead goal as part of a three-goal surge in a 91-second. Buffalo won its third consecutive game, well Toronto has 70 points in 60 games giving the Florida Panthers a real shot at catching up for third in the Atlantic Division.
Frederik Anderson finished with 31 saves in losing his second start since missing four games with a neck injury. Zach Hyman scored for Toronto, as did Egor Korshkov in his NHL debut after being called up.
The win allowed Buffalo to move into a tie with Montreal for fifth in the division with 62 points.
Andersen couldn't be faulted in a game in which he stopped 28 of the first 30 shots he faced before the Sabres erupted for three goals on three consecutive shots.
There was a large contingent of blue-and-white jersey-wearing Maple Leafs fans who made the trip across the border. There were so many, the loudest cheer before the game came when Toronto's Auston Matthews was announced as a starter.
After failing to score on 16 shots in the opening period, Buffalo finally converted on its 17th shot, with Larsson opening the scoring 1:32 into the second period.
The Leafs didn't give their faithful much to cheer about in the opening 40 minutes in trailing 2-1 and being outshot 28-12.
Hyman tied it at two early in the third period by deflecting in Jake Muzzin's shot from the left point.
But then things went wrong.
Eichel, with a one-timer from the left circle, scored his team-leading 33rd at the 6:06 mark of the third period.
Kyle Okposo then made it 4-2 by chasing down a loose puck at the left boards, eluding Rasmus Sandin and scoring on a breakaway.
Jimmy Vesey capped the surge at the 7:37 mark, after Rasmus Ristolainen intercepted Hyman's clearing attempt. Ristolainen drove across the front and passed to Vesey, who flipped it in the open right side.
Andersen's best save came with 2:10 left.
He stopped Rasmus Dahlin's shot from the left point and then got across to the other post in time to stop Vesey's chance on a wraparound. The puck bounced up in the air and landed on Andersen's pad before rolling back into the crease. Another stop for the Leafs netminder when Marcus Johansson tried to jam it in.
A video review confirmed the puck didn't cross the goal line. Thats was it though as the Leafs fell 5-2. Jake Muzzin was hit with a puck but did return to the ice.
Next Up, Tuesday Feb 18, 2020, in Pittsburgh for the first half of a home and home against the Penguins.