Steve Ott scored the game winner (and earlier blew some kisses) in the most entertaining Sabres game since the opener. There were fights, goals, hits, end-to-end action, lead changes, and a divided but boisterous crowd tonight at the FNC.
- Wow, this one started with a bang - less than three minutes in, Colton Orr cross-checks Pat Kaleta into the ground, and they go at each other. Simultaneously, John Scott and Frazer McLaren decide to start dropping bombs of the highest magnitude on each other for a solid minute. This is the loudest I've heard the FNC all year.
- Toronto fans break out the "MIIIILLLLEEEERRRRR" chant, which is shocking to me because I forgot that this chant existed, since it's the first time I've heard it used in the FNC all year.
- Steve Ott got knocked around a bit in the Sabres zone, then locked his eyes down the ice, charged over 100 feet and absolutely nailed Mikhail Grabovsky. He mixed it up with Dion Phaneuf on his way out, and blew him a kiss which resulted in an unsportsmanlike penalty, but damn if it wasn't worth it to watch.
- And then the Leafs score on the power play. Still, if you're gonna lose, lose in style.
- And then the Leafs score again, as Nazem Kadri sneaks behind Mark Pysyk to put the tipped shot past Miller. Rook's gotta be more aware of the guys around him in that situation, too focused on the puck.
- Things quieted down for a bit before a Sabres power play at the end of the period, where a minute of solid puck possession finally led to a nice goal from Tyler Ennis past James reimer with :01 left on the PP.
- Seen on the Sabres Game Notes sheet in between periods: "The Sabres are 0-7-0 when trailing after the firs period." I guess we can all go home now, then.
- Steve Ott takes another penalty, this time for slashing, and though the Leafs don't score on the PP, they do as soon as he returns to the ice, courtesy of a very nice tip by Grabovski. Gotta tie him up in front of the net, you tired penalty killers.
- Just seconds after botching a mini-breakway, Marcus Foligno plants his big self in the crease and is rewarded when a rebound finds his stick for the Sabres second goal. He's all kinds of jacked up after the play.
- Space on the ice just opened up thanks to offsetting unsportmanlikes, and Cody Hodgson was absolutely a monster in space on a shift that saw him deke past about three guys, forecheck like crazy, and eventually find a wide open Jason Pominville, who ties it at three. All Hodgson there.
- Just 22 seconds into the third, Christian Ehrhoff bombs a huge slapper past Optimus Reim for the power play goal, and the Sabres, once lost, now lead 4-3.
- Later in the period, Nazem Kadri tied it at four on a Leafs power play, throwing the puck into traffic and getting enough of a bounce to get it past Ryan Miller.
- Things are getting nuts with the end to end rushes and chances here. This game is shockingly fun. Maybe the most fun since the opener?
- On a power play to end the third, Pominville trips over his own feet on the point and gives up a 2-on-1 shorthanded break for the Leafs, which Miller mercifully stops. A loss would be bad enough, just not like that.
- More exciting hockey ultimately results in nothing, and we go to a skills competition.
- Stafford barely scores, Miller makes many saves, and Ott (!) scores the game winner on shooter number six.
Quote of the Game
"I guess you're not allowed to blow guys kisses on the ice. I guess that's offensive."
- Steve Ott
Comment of the Game