The minor miracle at the beginning wasn't Matt Moulson's opening goal, though the feed by Zemgus Girgensons was miraculous - it was John Scott scoring his second career goal, and his first in over three years. Scott found Matt Ellis' rebound in the slot and banged home just his sixth career point in what was his 200th NHL game. You can watch the highlight of the goal right here, and fill your heart with holiday cheer.
Unfortunately, the good time were not to last, as the Sabres played like the worst team in the league (which they still are) in the second period, letting the Leafs score three unanswered goals, including a Phil Kessel power play goal with just 17 seconds left. Getting outshot 17-5 in a single period reminds me of the Ron Rolston days. Let's move on.
The third period came and went with the Sabres showing increasing desperation, but no results. Finally, with about a minute left, Toronto was called for their first penalty, and with a 6-on-4 advantage thanks to an empty net, Tyler Myers swooped down low, threw the puck at Jonathan Bernier, and Steve Ott slammed home the rebound to tie the game with 0:25 left.
Overtime was a back and forth affair, but the game ultimately was decided by the skills competition, where despite having Bernier beat twice, Ennis and Girgensons both whiffed on open nets, and Toronto walked out with a win.
1. Christian Ehrhoff has 13 points in his last 13 games against Toronto. Will it continue
2. How will the special teams units stack up?
Both teams were effective on the power play, with the Leafs going 1/3 and the Sabres scoring on their only opportunity.
3. Where for art thou, Linus Omark?
Getting the lowest TOI on the team, that's where. Clocking in at 9:31, Omark was ineffective whenever he set foot on the ice, usually on the Black Hole Line with Ville Leino and Drew Stafford. He's still new, but at some point you gotta show us something, kid.
1. Cody Franson - apparently two assists is a big deal
2. Matt Moulson - goal and assist
3. Phil Kessel - same
Comment of the Game
I've been waiting for this day...John Scott now has more goals than Ville Leino this season. Nolan is a genius!
I'm not sure if genius is the right word, but yes.