Sabres VS Maple Leafs Preseason Game Recap 9/22/17

Final: BUF 0 TOR 3
Shots On Goal: BUF 18 TOR 37
Power Play: BUF 0/3 TOR 1/9

TOR: Morgan Rielly
TOR: Leo Komarov assisted by Ron Hainsey
TOR: William Nylander assisted by Connor Brown


The Sabres began their home and home series with the Leafs tonight after a 4-3 overtime win over the Pittsburgh Penguins. Buffalo has a preseason record of 1-0-1. And the Leafs have a preseason record of 0-2-0. Buffalo sat most of their NHL talent for tonight while the Leafs played their star calibre players such as Matthews and Nylander. Expect that Eichel, Reinhart, Kane, and Ristolainen will play tomorrow night in Buffalo.

Linus Ullmark would get the start in goal and he was tested early. Toronto outshot Buffalo 9-0 just 7 minutes into the game and it took the Sabres 8 minutes to get their first shot on goal. Auston Matthews had a great scoring opportunity after coming out of the penalty box but luckily he missed wide of Ullmark.  Benoit Pouliot took a very lazy slashing penalty in the first and he did a whole lot of that in his time in Edmonton. The Sabres were outshot 14-5 in the 1st period and they also had no scoring chances. Buffalo was completely dominated through the first 20 minutes of play.

Early on in the 2nd period, William Nylander nearly made it 1-0 but he rang the puck off the goal post. Shortly after that, Kevin Porter would go to the box for slashing. This would be the Leafs 3rd power play of the game. Morgan Rielly ripped the puck past Ullmark’s glove to make it a 1-0 game. That goal came on Toronto’s 19th shot of the game. Kevin Porter took another dumb penalty, this time for goalie interference, and the Leafs would go to the power play for the 4th time of the game, and they were able to kill it off.

Evan Rodrigues took a big hit from Andreas Borgman and went to the dressing room. E-Rod didn’t come out for the start of the 3rd period. Zemgus Girgensons also had a great scoring chance in front of the net but he wasn’t able to bury it. Linus Ullmark was busy late in the 2nd period. He made a few big saves including a fantastic save on Tobias Lindberg to keep it a 1-0 game.

The Sabres would get a chance to tie the game on the power play and Ryan O’Reilly found Seth Griffith in front of the net but he was robbed by Curtis McElhinney. After 40 minutes, the Leafs would maintain their 1-0 lead. The Leafs outshot Buffalo 10-9 in the 2nd period.

Phil Housley said today that he wasn’t sure if Ullmark would play the whole 60 minutes tonight. He would reevaluate after the 2nd period and he decided to keep Linus in for the 3rd period. Toronto would give Curtis McElhinney the rest of the night off and start Garett Sparks for the 3rd period. McElhinney stopped all 14 Sabres shots through 40 minutes.

The Sabres started off the 3rd period by taking THREE penalties. Yes, three penalties within the first seven minutes of the period. Taylor Fedun took one, Buffalo killed it off, then Stevey Moses took another penalty, but Buffalo killed it off, and Kevin Porter took his 3rd penalty of the game, Buffalo would kill that penalty off as well. This was the second preseason game in a row where Buffalo has taken way too many penalties. Late in the 3rd period, the Sabres took a too many men on the ice penalty. This team just couldn’t catch a break tonight. The Leafs would add 2 empty net goals late in the 3rd period, and would end up winning the game by a score of 3-0.

Linus Ullmark was by far the best Sabre tonight. He was sharp all night and made some great saves. He even brought out his inner Dominik Hasek by making two saves with his head. I’m predicting that Linus Ullmark is going to take the AHL by storm this season. With the improvements to the depth on defense, the Amerks will be much improved. Ullmark will have a great season in Rochester.

Safe to say, the Sabres will have a much better outing for tomorrow night’s game against Toronto. The Sabres will likely have most of their NHL roster in the lineup. Similar to what Toronto did with their lineup tonight.

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