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Recap: Sabres blow another early lead, lose to Leafs 4-3

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A familiar story leads to another loss to a divisional opponent.

NHL: Buffalo Sabres at Toronto Maple Leafs John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

As a comedian says when dusting off an old chestnut of a joke - stop me if you’ve heard this one before.

There wasn’t anything funny about the Sabres blowing yet another first period lead en route to a 4-3 loss to the Maple Leafs - another key divisional loss to a team that Buffalo is trailing in the standings.

The Sabres got off to another hot start last night, scoring two in the first thanks to both Kyle Okposo and Evander Kane, a start which continued a positive trend of the team coming out hot right out of the gate.

However, the rest of the night saw them continue a negative trend of squandering those early leads, as the Leafs came back to score three goals in the second, to take a 3-2 lead which they would not relinquish the rest of the game.

Those three goals, which happened in less than ten minutes, would lead to Robin Lehner getting pulled for Anders Nilsson, a decision Dan Bylsma said was based mostly on the timing of the Leafs goals - and presumably the fact that Lehner let another soft goal in on the short side.

Lehner was visibly upset getting pulled, and was yelling at either himself or his teammates as he made his way to the bench. Bylsma didn’t have a problem with Lehner’s outburst, saying, "He should be upset with it. That's a part of Robin's game, that emotion, and yeah, I have no problem with that."

What he should have a problem with is how his team shows on an almost nightly basis that it can’t sustain a 60 minute effort. And yes, many teams have ups and down during a game, but the Sabres incredible downs often show results like tonight, giving up three goals against in ten minutes.

It’s something the team has to figure out over the course of this season if next year is going to be any different. We’ve talked about it like a broken record, but at some point you’ve gotta fix what’s broken in order to move on.

Three Questions

1. Eichel vs. Matthews?

Matthews scored a goal in the second to take the lead for the Leafs, and while Eichel lead the Sabres with six shots, he wasn’t able to get on the score sheet.

2. Can the Sabres stay out of the box tonight?

Yes, both teams took just one penalty on the night, but the Leafs managed to capitalize on their one power play chance.

3. Who scores the first goal?

The Sabres scored the first goal - the first two, in fact - but it doesn’t seem to matter on some nights with this team.

Comment of the Game

Why does a 2 - 0 lead feel like it's not a lead?

Posted by Buffalo_Warrior