Game in 10: Game #29, Sabres 3 vs. Leafs 2 (OT)

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BUFFALO, NY - NOVEMBER 29: Jay McClement #11 of the Toronto Maple Leafs is defended by Henrik Tallinder #20, Tyler Myers #57 and Ryan Miller #30 of the Buffalo Sabres on November 29, 2013 at the First Niagara Center in Buffalo, New York. (Photo by Rob Marczynski/NHLI via Getty Images)

Splitting the points with the Sabres over three games is far from a sign of promise headed into a tough December. Two of the Sabres’ 6 wins in 27 games have come against the Leafs. Thanks to Cameron for tonight’s Game in 10.

1 – The Leafs came out looking much better to start the game in Buffalo tonight. Granted, the bar wasn’t set high after their collapse in Pittsburgh, but they kept the Sabres off the shot clock for 11 minutes to open the game. However, even during this stretch, there were head scratching moments in the defensive zone. Decision making is really poor right now.

2 – Kessel put the Leafs on the board early. Gardiner made a nice chip up the boards and Bozak handed it off to Phil, who did what he does best, and sniped on Miller. Kessel showed some excellent patience moving in for the shot, waiting for Miller to drop and for something to open up.

3 – The Sabres picked up steam as the first period moved along. It’s becoming increasingly clear that very few of the Leafs defenders are capable of breaking out of the zone with any confidence. Fraser and Franson are looking shaky making reverse passes, and turning routine exits into heart-stopping moments. Gardiner is all over the ice and looking lost on numerous occasions. Ranger is handling the puck like it’s a grenade. It’s not pretty.

4 – The Leafs forwards were actually playing decently, though. Normally I like to point out the enormous gaps they create on the back-check, and their unwillingness to support the defenders down low in their own zone. Tonight they were making a better effort to get there. Everyone on the top line has a moment at some point in the game where they came all the way back and broke up a scoring play. The Kadri line did a good job cycling and getting some zone time.

5 – The second period saw a pretty big drop off in play. Reimer looked a bit rattled, and the defensive troubles started to intensify. It wasn’t helped by two Buffalo powerplays that both looked pretty good. Matt Moulson tallied for the Sabres at the tail end of the first effort after Smithson failed to clear the zone. The puck found its way to the crease and Reimer was down to make the save. As Fraser moved across the blue paint, his foot clipped Reimer, and pushed him right out of the net.

6 – A hard working shift from the Kulemin line put the Leafs back on top, but it didn’t do much to shift momentum. Within a few shifts the Sabres are back in the Leafs’ zone, exposing the defenders and making life difficult for Reimer. Eventually, Franson takes a boarding penalty (worth noting that the referees were not going to call this one, until Stafford sold it heavily, and they changed their minds). The Leafs killed it, but the momentum stayed with Buffalo.

7 – Luke Adam was left all alone in front of the Leafs net and the puck bounced to his stick for him to pot an easy goal. We roll into the third period evened up at two…
.
The Kessel line got things rolling with a good shift that ended with Bozak whiffing on an opportunity, but drawing an icing call. On the next shift, the Kadri line drew a penalty when Nazem took a high stick to the face in the corner. The Leafs got their first powerplay opportunity of the game. Not a lot of pressure generated, but they do manage an in-tight scoring chance with Kadri hitting the post. The pressure was actually better after the man advantage concluded and the Kulemin line started buzzing.

8 – The next ten minute segment of the third period was pretty even – a back and forth affair with maybe a slight edge to the Leafs. There weren’t really any outstanding chances for either side. Reimer continued to look uncomfortable and made some strange decisions, but ultimately those didn’t result in goals, or even chances. Kulemin seemed to be able to make something happen on every shift.

Also, credit where credit is due, the defense generally looked a lot more confident and less shaky in the third. The decisions were being made much quicker, and Ranger in particular broke up a couple plays quite adeptly.

9 – Despite all the criticism of Reimer, he had to make an amazing save with around seven minutes left in the third to prevent a regulation loss.

10 – In the end, Reimer’s save may have earned the Leafs a point, but it can’t make up for a final burst of bad decision making, and a terrible non-call from the officials. With under two minutes left in regulation Ranger took a dumb penalty, slashing and holding his man as he circled behind the net. However, on the ensuing kill, van Riemsdyk was hauled down on a breakaway with no call, and no penalty shot. Even Carlyle was livid.

The Sabres scored 35 seconds into overtime. Ehrhoff with a blast from the point. Game over. The Leafs fall to 6th in the Conference, and are tied with tomorrow night’s opponent in the Montreal Canadiens with identical 14-9-3 records.

SCORING SUMMARY   
1ST PERIOD
2:12:00TORPhil Kessel (14) Snap shot - ASST: Tyler Bozak (5), Jake Gardiner (6)1 - 0 TOR
2ND PERIOD
7:57:00BUF PPG - Matt Moulson (10) Wrist shot - ASST: Ville Leino (4), Tyler Myers (5)1 - 1 Tie
10:23:00TORNikolai Kulemin (2) Tip-in - ASST: Trevor Smith (4)2 - 1 TOR
18:50:00BUFLuke Adam (1) Slapshot - ASST: Zemgus Girgensons (6), Christian Ehrhoff (5)2 - 2 Tie
3RD PERIOD
NONE
OT PERIOD
0:38:00BUFChristian Ehrhoff (2) Wrist shot - ASST: Tyler Myers (6), Ville Leino (5)3 - 2 BUF

NO.PLAYERPOSGAP+/-PIMSHITSBKSGVATKAFO%PPTOISHTOITOI
2M. FraserD000-1003800-0:00:004:04:0020:36:00
3D. PhaneufD000-1022400-1:58:003:37:0023:17:00
4C. FransonD0000403001-1:24:001:51:0015:56:00
11J. McClementC000002111042%0:00:004:28:0017:20:00
12M. RaymondL0000051000-1:24:001:41:0017:51:00
15P. RangerD000-1402201-0:00:002:21:0020:47:00
21J. van RiemsdykL0001230100100%0:36:002:41:0020:34:00
22J. SmithsonC000-100110083%0:00:002:17:008:42:00
23T. SmithC01100030000%0:00:000:00:0013:10:00
28C. OrrR0000001000-0:00:000:00:006:06:00
36C. GunnarssonD0000010310-0:02:003:37:0019:27:00
37C. AshtonR0000002100-0:00:000:00:005:23:00
41N. KuleminL1010023101-0:00:002:44:0014:34:00
42T. BozakC011100120140%0:36:001:11:0020:44:00
43N. KadriC000001400075%1:24:000:00:0014:13:00
51J. GardinerD0112002200-0:36:000:08:0021:23:00
71D. ClarksonR0000010000-1:24:000:00:0014:35:00
81P. KesselC1011070001-0:36:000:08:0020:16:00
Goalie
NO.PLAYERSAVES - SHOTSSV%PIMTOI
34J. Reimer (L)26 - 290.897060:27:00

Leafs / Sabres Shot Data
Leafs / Sabres Shot Data
  • NotSince67

    Wow, I got into Ottawa when it was 2-1 and got to see the remaining disappintment…

  • Komas Taberle

    @NotSince67 
    The real disappointment is that you are in Ottawa.

  • Zep2

    Reposted= good nite
    Re-penalties, if we take of our B&W glasses:
    – we don’t spend much time in the opposition zone
    -we spend a lot of time in our zone
    -we take penalties 200 ft from our net
    -we take undisciplined penalties-JVR/ kADRI
    -we can’t kill penalties lately
    5 PP goals against in 2 games , nothing else to say

  • crackit

    Zep2 agreed

  • DJBrianBurke

    Zep2 PK sucks balls, we can all see that. 
    Last thing I’ll say about the refs, game were we dominate the play, and yes it has happened, they still got penalties. I don’t buy that thinking or theory.

  • HHT

    Got a feeling trades are coming – I hope they work out.

  • Cameron19

    DJBrianBurke Zep2 In fact, when we dominate, we tend to get even more penalties, like after going up 4-1 against Pittsburgh.

  • DJBrianBurke

    PK has to be better, too many times that point shot has ended the Leafs and the Habs/Subban will chew the Leafs up tomorrow.

  • GeorgeCastanza

    crackit Zep2  ppffffttt. What a joke

  • juliesucks

    Ranger’s gotta go. It’s not even funny anymore. The JVR non-call is overshadowing how stupid of a penalty that was.

  • Wilbur

    HHT I’m not sure there’s anything they can do via trade right now unless it’s something Nonis has been working on for a long while.

  • Cameron19

    GeorgeCastanza crackit Zep2 Put your food away and he’ll go back to his bridge.

  • Jay31

    https://twitter.com/DaveAMcCarthyhttps://twitter.com/DaveAMcCarthy/status/406630744547540994
    Moulson: There were a lot of https://twitter.com/search?q=%23Leafs&src=hash fans. I think that’s a 1st for me, getting beer cans thrown at me after a win in my own building. https://twitter.com/search?q=%23NHL&src=hash

  • HHT

    Hopefully they were Molson beers. Jay31

  • DJBrianBurke

    Jay31 Wow Sabers can’t even afford a tunnel cover. What has the NHL come to?

  • crackit

    Wilbur HHT fire nonis he sucks too

  • Bon Scott was a Leaf fan

    Shift_Disturber1 Jay31 
    Isn’t Moulson UFA come July??  I’m too lazy to check.  Where’s he from??  We could use him in our lineup.

  • GeorgeCastanza

    Jay31 good for LeAFS FANS

  • mr_hanie

    I still believe that help will come from the Maries… Holzer, Liles (have to clear cap space) or Granberg

  • HHT

    We could really use Bolland back in the lineup. Wilbur HHT

  • Wilbur

    I really liked what the McClemment/Smith/Kulemin line brought tonight. Lots of cycling and lots of Ozone time. Now let’s get another line like that one to replace the “4th” line. Smithson can hit the road and (yes I will get ripped for the following) so can Orr for the majority of games. I loved the two lines Burns had back in ’93…
    Berg/Zezel/Osborne
    Foligno (or Manderville)/Eastwood/Pearson

  • Bon Scott was a Leaf fan

    juliesucks 
    For the longest time I was thinking we should give Ranger more time seeing as he was out of the league for so long….but enough is enough.  He’s literally costing us points now.
    Get that Brennan kid up and see what he can do.

  • Bon Scott was a Leaf fan

    Nice Game In 10, Cam.  You’re getting pretty good at this.  I think Carlyle is going to blow a gasket soon if the officiating doesn’t improve.

  • DJBrianBurke

    Wilbur I feel for Orr, I like him and appreciates what he does, but that line can’t keep that puck in on a cycle, I don’t expect the Sedins, but I would like at least one shift per period.

  • HHT

    I was just thinking that.  We could use another strong defensive line that could make things happen – esp if playoff advancement is in our interest.  btw may the late great Zez rest in peace!  Wilbur

  • Wilbur

    Bon Scott was a Leaf fan I think he’s pissed at his players but taking it out on the officials. Got to release some steam you know :)

  • darthNihilus

    Bon Scott was a Leaf fan the officiating will not improve. the Leafs have no power over any officials or the NHL to improve the reffing. But we can improve our play and take less dumb penalties.

  • HHT

    Someone should put together a low-light package of cheap Leaf calls  Bon Scott was a Leaf fan

  • darthNihilus

    Wilbur and at one point before that Dave Reid was also amazing in that role. I remember one year he led the league in shorthanded goals with like 8. I miss those types of players.

  • Wilbur

    DJBrianBurke Wilbur I love the tough guys that sacrifice but that line generally struggled tonight. They had a tough time getting it out of their end and had a tough time cycling in the Ozone. Too many games that line ends up doing nothing more than trying to spell off the other lines for some rest and even then they don’t always do a good job at it. I really thing we can do much better.

  • Leafbites

    It’s a long season. It’s the time for patience. Every team will have their lulls, pk woes, etc. I just question Carlyle’s inability to recognize chemistry or lack of, with line combos. He just always has to ride that f*cking tire right to the rim.

  • DJBrianBurke

    Wilbur DJBrianBurke This team is playing scared again, the reason for all the hope coming out of that last year was that they could go toe to toe with the “big” bad Bruins. Since that Scott incident and the goalie running and none of the scraps, that the Leafs racked up last year, they’ve regressed.

  • HHT

    Wasn’t his nickname “Father Time!” darthNihilus Wilbur

  • wiski

    Considering you were fighting off trolls in the last thread at the same time, well done Cam. 😉

  • Alec Brownscombe

    wiski My shoulder is tired from the amount I’ve swung the ban hammer tonight

  • Cameron19

    wiski Ha, I was writing between commercial breaks in the game. It was finished within a minute of the game ending. But the trolls were out in force tonight, for sure….

  • Wilbur

    Alec Brownscombe wiski Dion gets Elisha to rub is shoulders 😉

  • loomx

    Shift_Disturber1 Yeah, because what we need is more fighters.

  • loomx

    Shift_Disturber1 loomx No. But insinuating that he never wear a Leafs sweater again simply because he didn’t fight is a little ridiculous. He’s much more useful than McLaren.

  • Wilbur

    Shift_Disturber1 There are lots of ways to play tough without fighting. Hit, take hits, block shots, clear the net etc…Too many teams last year fell for RC’s strategy and tried to prove they were as tough in terms of fighting. It’s a different story this year. Coaches smartened up. Don’t pick fights with McClaren and Orr and what’s RC going to do with them. He either plays them which becomes and advantage to the other team or he sits them which becomes an advantage to the other team.

  • Wilbur

    loomx Shift_Disturber1 Let’s not have a fight over two guys who should not be in the NHL…

  • wiski

    DJBrianBurke Jay31 Usually on the visitors side. lol

  • ProfessorRance

    Go get Bogosian Nonis! In all fairness not our best stretch of hockey. The calls dont help but our play really needs to pick up and it all starts with our team identity and or attitude. We need to come together as a team.

  • loomx

    Shift_Disturber1 loomx Well this went a lot more amicably than I thought it would.

  • DJBrianBurke

    ProfessorRance Team doesn’t have an identity. The one they came into the season with is seems to be gone.

  • T K O

    We need to use what little cap space we have left and get Komorov back from the khl
    move (might sound crazy) Gardiner with Phaneuf….. Gunner with Rielly and mix in the last three.

  • wiski

    https://twitter.com/FOXSportsLivehttps://twitter.com/FOXSportsLive/status/406644347602337792
    Think about everything you’ve seen today. This is better than all of those things. (via https://twitter.com/CardboardGerald) https://t.co/xmpQegnOfF

  • ProfessorRance

    wiski Hahaha

  • wiski

    ProfessorRance wiski Need a little laugh after a night like tonight

  • ProfessorRance

    DJBrianBurke ProfessorRance I don’t know what it could be. We couldn’t have lost it when we traded Frattin and Scrivens away. It’s night and day different.