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Recap: Poor Second Period Dooms Sabres

Sabres fall to the Leafs 5-2 and split the season series

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

The Buffalo Sabres had the opportunity to win the season series against the Toronto Maple Leafs tonight. Unfortunately, things would not go their way on this night.

Toronto got on the board first. Benoit Pouliot vacated the front of the net, leaving Andreas Johnsson alone in to beat Chad Johnson. Tomas Plekanec made a nice pass from the wall to the open player in front.

After one the Sabres trailed on the scoreboard and were down 12-9 in shots on goal.

A little over two minutes into the second period Sam Reinhart got the Sabres back even. He was in his office in front of the net and tipped a Rasmus Ristolainen shot by Curtis McElhinney.

The remainder of the period belonged to the Leafs. They were all over the Sabres and put the game out of reach. Three minutes after Reinhart tied the game. Auston Matthews scored his first of the night with a great wrist shot over the glove of Johnson.

He followed that up making a nice outlet pass to William Nylander who got behind the Sabres defense. Nylander went in alone on Johnson and scored his first of the night.

Nylander added a second goal in the period a few minutes later off of a nice pass from Zach Hyman to make it 4-1 Leafs after 40 minutes.

The Sabres got back in the game early in the third period. Jason Pominville cleaned up a rebound for his 14th of the season to make it 4-2 with just over 17 minutes remaining.

Before the Sabres could get any ideas about a comeback, Matthews put the game away with his second of the night. He finished a nice passing play with the man advantage to make it 5-2.

Buffalo had a few more opportunities but were unable to beat McElhinney. Only three more games remaining in the season.

Final: Leafs 5, Sabres 2

Shots on Goal: Leafs 36 | Sabres 34

Sabres Goal Scorers: Reinhart (24) and Pominville (14)

Leafs Goal Scorers: Johnsson (2), Nylander (18, 19) and Matthews (32, 33)

Three Stars of the Game

1. Auston Matthews (2 G, 1 A)

2. William Nylander (2 G, 1 A)

3. Andreas Johnsson (1 G, 1 A)