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Leafs fall in Buffalo

It wasn't the way it was scripted but the Buffalo Sabres pulled out a dramatic 5-4 overtime victory over the visiting Toronto Maple Leafs.  The Sabres trailed 2-0 in the third period, as they were unable to solve Andrew Raycroft, but Adam Mair put Buffalo on the board with less than 12 minutes left in the third period.  Jason Pominville tied the game with a goal just 37 seconds later but the scoring wasn't done.  The teams traded goals throughout the final 10 minutes and went to overtime with the score tied 4-4.

After some chances for both teams the Sabres appeared ready to win the game when Thomas Vanek patiently waited for Andrew Raycroft to put himself out of position but Pavel Kubina hauled down Vanek before he could put the puck into an open net.  The Sabres created some opportunities with the 4-on-3 advantage and with under four seconds left in the game Ales Kotalik was credited with the game winning goal.  The puck appeared to be put in the net by Leafs defenseman Bryan McCabe who was trying to clear the puck but instead put it into his own net.

The Sabres will now be off until Friday when they complete their four game home stand.  The Sabres will welcome in Mike Peca and the Columbus Blue Jackets, the game is scheduled for 7:30 PM.

Pluses:

  • The Sabres never quit even though they trailed 2-0, 3-2 and 4-3...and eventually won 5-4 in overtime
  • Fired 19 shots on Andrew Raycroft in the third period onslaught
  • 42 shots on goal...makes for the second consecutive game the Sabres had over 40 shots on goal
  • played a very disciplined game with only four penalties (three were questionable calls)
  • The penalty kill was perfect again, killing off three of three opportunities
  • The line of Connolly-Hecht-Pominville is looking more like the line from last year with Briere...scoring two goals tonight (Hecht, Pominville)
  • Lydman and Tallinder were a plus two and were not on the ice for any of the Leafs four goals

Minuses:

  • The offense was stagnant until almost half way through the third period
  • The power play was 0-for-5 in regulation before getting the game winner on a 4-on-3 power play
  • Derek Roy was on the ice for three of the Leafs four goals...twice with Vanek and Afinogenov and once double shifting with Mair and Paille
  • The inconsistent play of Maxim Afinogenov...he came off of a great game against the Capitals and follwed it up with a poor performance against the Leafs and was a minus two
  • The ammount of goal posts hit by the Buffalo Sabres...they need to start burying their chances