Game 6: Maple Leafs vs. Sabres Instant Reactions

Tom Szczerbowski

The Buffalo Sabres drop their fourth straight game, but at least get a point, as they lose to the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-3. Matt Frattin scored his second of the night with 1.5 seconds left on the clock.

The Buffalo Sabres find new ways to lose games this season, this time on a last second goal in overtime to the Toronto Maple Leafs. The road doesn't get much easier as their next opponent is the Boston Bruins. Here are my reactions from the game.

1st Period

- The Sabres offense got out to a good start with a lot of pressure on Reimer and the Leafs. The lone problem is that all of the pucks that were heading toward the net never really got there. The Sabres ended up with five shots on goal in the period, which is their lowest total for a period since the last time these two teams met.

- The Maple Leafs offense wasn't all that proficient either in the first period as they only managed six shots on goal themselves. The 11 total shots on goal are the fewest in a period for the Sabres since last March.

- The Leafs goal from Jay McClement was a case of just being able to stand in front of the net without much impediment. Nazem Kadri rang a long shot off the glove of Miller and the crossbar which the rebound came right to McClement.

- The Sabres tied the game on lone powerplay of the period although it didn't look like it was going to get off the ground there for the first minute. Jason Pominville found the puck in front of the net and beat Reimer who had no chance on seeing the puck through all the traffic. The Sabres home powerplay was second in the league, converting on four of ten chances.

- I don't have a reaction on the Kaleta hit because well I just didn't see it. Mike Weber answered the bell and instigated the fight with Brown, which got him the extra two minutes and the game misconduct. Ironically, the guy on the ice paid to do that sort of stuff was the guy keeping the play alive.

2nd Period

- The Sabres started the period off well. They had seven shots on goal within the first four minutes of the period after having five in the first period of the game. They ended the period with 15 shots on goal.

- The Andrej Sekera goal was a thing of beauty both on the shot and the pass. Drew Stafford made a nice play along the boards to get it to Sekera who then made a nice deke backhand to roof it over Reimer

- Then the wheels fell of the bus for the Sabres. They allowed a goal 1:18 after the Sekera goal to tie the game up again and then another less than three minutes later. The third goal, a shot from Cody Franson was from near the blue line and just a shot Miller couldn't see

- Since Mikhail Grigorenko was on the ice for all three of the goals against, he found himself in Lindy's doghouse rather quickly, playing just 1:34 in the period. He would eventually return back to his spot in the lineup. More on that later

3rd Period/Overtime

- The Sabres did do themselves some favors by killing off the full 4 minute Jochen Hecht penalty. Hecht doesn't normally take the unsportsmanlike conduct penalties, but I'm not necessarily certain that he was the culprit. Weber pushed Kulemin as he was skating away and the ref may not have noticed who did the pushing.

- Mikhail Grigorenko tied the game up at the 7:10 mark of the third period, his first career NHL goal. I can go through all the fun tidbits such as he is now the fifth youngest goalscorer in franchise history. But, the fans may have been just as excited for the goal as Grigorenko was. He got a huge cheer when the goal went in and a standing ovation when the goal was announced. People expect big things out of him and it was good to see the monkey get off his back.

- Leopold looked like a traffic cone on the Frattin goal in overtime. Miller didn't have good positioning on it either, but Leopold could have just mitigated the situation himself. It is the first overtime goal the Sabres have surrendered since February 25th, 2012.

Postgame

- Patrick Kaleta was taken to the hospital as a precaution to examine his neck according to Lindy Ruff. Here was Ruff's thoughts on the hit: "I looked at it, I thought he was sideways. Some of the obligation is on the player, I didn't think he was defenseless. It's a tough area. It's not a blatant run a guy from behind."

- Ruff on Grigorenko's night: "A little up and down but great to see him score a goal. That was the moment of great enthusiasm when he scored and it was great to see. I tried to spot him a little bit but I was still going to give him a shot in the third period and overtime too."

- Grigorenko on the pressure of the first goal: "After the second period, I was just really down. I wasn't having a good game and things weren't working really well for me. In the third period, I got on the ice and I started to play really good and I thought the third period was really good and I scored a goal. It took away all of the pressure and everything and after the goal it was easier to play than before."

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