Sabres at Maple Leafs Recap: Home and home series split with 4-2 Leafs win

Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sport

The Sabres rebounded after a poor start to make it close in the end, but it wasn't enough to overcome Toronto.

The Buffalo Sabres split their home and home series last night by losing to the Maple Leafs 4-2, and it was a game reminiscent of the Ron Rolston era, but with some key differences.

Another slow start seemed to spell doom for Buffalo, as they fell behind 2-0 in the first and 3-0 before they got on the board. However, during the first intermission, Ted Nolan went in to the room livid, telling his team, "You guys are garbage."

That seemed to work, as the Sabres played a strong final 40 minutes, and a great third period. They drew it back to 3-2 and were buzzing all around Toronto's zone before a dumb Ville Leino penalty in the final three minutes doomed their efforts.

Three Questions

1. What's up with the trade Toronto made today? Will those guys factor in to the game at all?

Paul Holland had a modest evening, with two shots, one hit and a penalty in just under 12 minutes of ice time.

2. How will Ryan Miller fare starting in his second game in two days?

It seemed like Miller would start considering Enroth practiced today with the scratches, but that was not the case. Enroth had a shaky start (which also was not entirely his fault) but finished strong.

3. Considering what happened the last time these teams met, will we see any fireworks on the ice between these two teams?

Well, we had a Steve Ott fight, but the big hullabaloo came from a third period scrum between John Scott, Dion Phaneuf, Frazer Mclaren, and the rest of the fourth line crews. Scott missed a check on Phaneuf when the Leafs captain dove out of the way, causing the two players to knock knees. Phaneuf for some reason took umbrage with this, and crosschecked Scott in the back while Scott was skating away. When Big John went back to challenge him (not in a "Hey, let's fight!" way, more in a "Dude, WTF?" way) he was jumped by the entire Leafs fourth line and brought down to the ice.

Apparently, this was enough to earn him 14 minutes in penalties, including a 10 min misconduct (Orr and McLaren also earned 10 min misconducts). It was a garbage call by the refs, who seemed to be scared that the two teams would engage in another line brawl, despite relative peace between them over the past two games. After the game, Scott called the Leafs captain "Princess Phaneuf", which was wonderful, and showed off more of his surprisingly mature self-awareness.

Three Stars

1. James Van Riemsdyk - scored two goals because no Sabre bothered to shove him out of the crease
2. Cody Franson - 2 assists in over 21 min of ice time
3. Tyler Ennis - scored a goal! I know!

Comment of the Game

Scott gets ejected for being John Scott.

- Spezzal Teams Playa

That's still a pretty egregious offense.

Highlights

Courtesy of Sabres.com ore from Die By The Blade:

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