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Recap: Fast start powers Sabres over Leafs 3-1

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Evander Kane scored twice and Jack Eichel added three assists as the Sabres rolled the Leafs.

NHL: Buffalo Sabres at Toronto Maple Leafs Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

Fast starts have been few and far to come by for the Buffalo Sabres over the past few years, but tonight in Toronto they got what may have been their best start of the season en route to a 3-1 win.

The Sabres scored three times in the first, two from Evander Kane and one from Sam Reinhart, as they put the Leafs into a hole from which they could not recover.

The Sabres even managed to come out and play a decent second period, despite a bad final few minutes. The only thing you could say they didn’t consistently do well tonight was stay out of the penalty box, and Toronto’s only goal came in the third period on the power play.

While the Sabres didn’t give their best effort in the third, it was still enough to get the win. The Leafs pulled their goalie with almost four minutes left, but despite the extended time, Evander Kane couldn’t find the hat trick, and Derek Grant had his potential first NHL goal blocked by a glove.

This game was important for the Sabres, who are directly chasing the Leafs for that third playoff spot in the Atlantic. With the win tonight, Buffalo pulls to within five points of a playoff spot, with one more week until their bye.

Two Questions

1. How will this revamped top six look tonight?

Really good. The Kane-Eichel-Reinhart line gave Toronto fits all night and was responsible for all three Buffalo goals, while Justin Bailey looked good playing with ROR and Okposo, who also applied their own pressure throughout the night.

2. Can this team finally step up and win an important divisional game?

Yes, and it feels great.

Comment of the Game

The Leafs empty net was a better goalie than the Leafs goaltender.

Posted by twoeightnine