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Leafs Postgame: Toronto Puts One of the Last Few Nails in Buffalo’s Coffin

Another game and another loss for the Buffalo Sabres as they took on the playoff-bound Toronto Maple Leafs tonight.

The Leafs, being the much stronger team of the two, still needed to be careful against the Sabres who led the season series 2-1 going into this contest.

1st period

The Leafs took a 1-0 lead early on in this period, on a great 4th line shift from Tomas Plekanec and Andreas Johnsson:

With just a minute left in the period, Roman Polak caught Jack Eichel with a high stick that lead to a double minor penalty, that carries into the second.

All together a not very thrilling period that the Leafs finished leading 1-0.

2nd period

On the carryover from Roman Polak’s penalty, Rasmus Ristolainen would find Sam Reinhart in front for a tip to tie the game:

Not long after though, the Leafs capitalized on a powerplay of their own, when this Matthews shot restored their 1-goal lead at 2-1:

Again not long after, the Leafs took the 3-1 lead on this great feed from Auston Matthews and the breakaway by William Nylander:

Once more, not long after the prior goal, Zach Hyman feeds William Nylander for his second of the night:

The Leafs finished the period this way, leading by 3 goals.

3rd period

Early into the 3rd, the Sabres would add a second powerplay goal, this time coming from Jason Pominville:

And the Leafs would answer with their own, on this delectable passing play from Gardiner, Nylander and Matthews for Matthews’ second goal of the night:

The Sabres were not able to mount much of a push late in the game, as the Leafs were able to maintain control and ride this 5-2 lead into the end of the game.

Final Thoughts

This was a solid performance from everyone for Toronto. Other than Polak’s continued penalty troubles and missing the puck leading to Buffalo’s second goal, the Leafs put in a really good performance tonight.

Of course it’s the Sabres so really that’s not that difficult to do.

My three stars for the night are simply tonight’s goal scorers:

  1. Matthews
  2. Nylander
  3. Johnsson

Each put in assists on later-on goals which solidifies their spots in the star rankings.

The Leafs play their second last game on the road on Thursday against the New Jersey Devils, at 7 p.m. Eastern.

Good night and go Leafs!

 

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