Score: Sabres 4, Leafs 3
Shots: BUF: 29 TOR: 28
Buffalo Sabres Goals: Jack Quinn (13), Alex Tuch (29, 30), Dylan Cozens (26)
Toronto Maple Leafs Goals: Auston Matthews (31), Calle Jarnkrok (15), William Nylander (35)
Plus 1: Quinn Bats it In
After the Leafs scored two unanswered goals within three minutes in the second period and the Sabres failed to answer on their second power play, Jack Quinn batted the puck past Leafs goalie Matt Murray with assists from Peterka and Power. Quinn’s 13th goal this year was his first since Mar. 4. Fans would love to see more production out of No. 22 during the last month of the season and maybe they will.
Plus 2: Tuch Tears it Up Twice
3:39 into the third, Alex Tuch got a wrister on Murray with a great set up from Tage Thompson to tie the score at 2. Tuch’s first goal since coming back from injury quieted the hostile crowd and changed the game’s momentum.
After Dylan Cozens gave Buffalo the lead for the first time in the night, Tuch got a snap shot on the Blue and Gold’s third power play to make it 4-2 Sabres. No. 89’s 30th goal of the season took the wind out of Toronto’s sails and put the hosts in a hole they couldn’t dig out of.
Jedi 13 had the Comment of the Game: “Woooooooooooooo Let’s Tuching goooo!” Alex Tuch was the difference maker against the Leafs, scoring twice and even making a defensive move that frustrated one of Toronto’s scoring chances. Tuch was sorely missed and it’s clear the Sabres are much better with the star winger on the ice once more.
Plus 3: The Workhorse from Whitehorse Strikes Again
Speaking of great goals, as mentioned before, Dylan Cozens also got on the board. No. 24’s 26th goal this year was his first since Mar. 7. Cozens continues to get pucks in the net and the “Kid Line” with JJ Peterka and Jack Quinn knows how to make plays and snag points. It’s a delight to watch them work. Let’s hope they keep it up until the last horn sounds on the Sabres’ season.
Plus 4: The Amazing Anderson
The veteran goaltender had a great 60 minutes, stopping 25 of 28 shots and thwarting Toronto’s scoring opportunities again and again. He’s also enjoyed an incredible season, with a current .917 SV% and a 2.79 GAA. Last season, his stats were .897 and 3.12, respectively. Too bad Anderson isn’t 10 or 15 years younger because the team could use him as long as he’s able to play.
The Buffalo Sabres battled back from a 2-0 deficit in the second period to beat the Leafs in Toronto 4-3. The Sabres let the hosts back in the game a little toward the end of the third, repeatedly icing the puck and allowing William Nylander to score with a minute left to put Toronto within one. However, Buffalo hung on for the win, beating the Leafs at home for the first time in almost a year.
After a string of recent frustrating losses, it was great to see the players step up and show some toughness, patience and discipline. With just 16 games left in the regular season, Buffalo needs to keep playing good, consistent hockey to close out 2022-23 on a high note.
The Sabres continue their road trip with a visit to the Washington Capitals on Wednesday night. Puck drop is at 7:00 p.m.