Three goals in a wild two minute stretch left Toronto and Buffalo tied after the first period, with the two teams being nearly level in chances as well.

Both coaches must have been unhappy with the defensive effort shown, and in the second period the chances dried up. Unfortunately for Toronto, the Sabres began to press in the second half of the frame, getting a go-ahead goal, and out-chancing Toronto 5-1. Now chasing the game, the Leafs had one of their best offensive periods of the season in the third, generating sixteen chances, including several on the power-play. They were able to finally convert with the extra man, with Tyler Bozak tying the game in the last four minutes. That meant, just as in the Islander game, overtime with the game tied at three. The extra period was full of chances for both sides, with the two goaltenders both making great saves to force a shootout. Bozak scored, Bernier made three stops, and the Leafs earned the bonus point.

StatusOverallEven StrengthES Close
TeamTORBUF%TORBUF%TORBUF%
17653.8%5645.5%5645.5%
21516.7%1516.7%1516.7%
316480.0%8466.7%2166.7%
47463.6%7463.6%7463.6%
Total311962.0%211952.5%151648.4%

The last two periods were almost the reverse of the Leafs‘ game against the Islanders. They carried the play and dominated chances, taking a 15-8 advantage at ES and an incredible 23-8 advantage overall. That included a busy overtime period, with eleven chances between the two teams in the five minutes.

ClubStPTimeTScOscNoteTorontoBuffalo
TORPP116:3300Van Riemsdyk wide from loose puck42812134445591265535-
TORES116:2800Booth from Gardiner234720335145632226244135
BUFES114:3000Ellis from Gionta15226735145123782414735
TORES114:1400Kessel wide from Lindstrom154281335745204937414735
BUFES113:0800GOAL! Larsson from Ennis24182135145632226245135
BUFES111:2901Varone post from Gionta428119515745841282515535
TORPP109:3201Van Riemsdyk deflects Rielly shot42812134445128264735-
BUFES108:2101Moulson deflects Meszaros shot23472024445632226415135
TORES105:5101GOAL! Kozun from Lindstrom15226735145204937415535
TORES105:3011GOAL! Komarov from Booth23472035145841282245135
BUFES103:5821GOAL! Ennis from Moulson42811935145632226415535
BUFES103:0422Varone wide from Gionta24182124445841282245135
TORES100:3322Booth from Komarov23472024445841282415535
BUFES219:2422Foligno deflects Gionta shot wide42811935145841282415535
BUFES211:5422Bogosian drives2219672444563222664735
BUFES208:1022GOAL! Moulson from Larsson1523203444563222664735
TORES208:0023Kessel from Lindstrom1542812444520594464735
BUFES207:1523Schaller from Moulson154281334445195949245135
BUFES201:3623Moulson wide from Ennis24182144514563222664735
TORES318:0623Komarov deflects Erixon shot234720335745205944245135
TORES317:5123Komarov drives234720335145193744245135
BUFES317:2823D'Amigo from Ellis24672135145194937415535
TORES317:1823Holland from Van Riemsdyk24672135145194937415535
TORPP315:2323Booth from Holland2418203351454937245535-
BUFES313:1923Ennis from loose puck15428125745632226415535
TORSH312:2023Smith drives23202345-192282415135
TORPP308:0623Van Riemsdyk from Rielly42812134445493764735-
TORPP307:5223Kessel from Phaneuf42812134445493764735-
TORPP307:0023Lupul from Holland2418193351454937475535-
TORES306:2623Booth drives23472025745596326244135
TORES306:1423Booth from Komarov23472025745632226244135
BUFES305:4623Ennis from loose puck4281182444563222664735
TORES304:4023Van Riemsdyk from loose puck24202135145841244245135
TORPP303:5023Phaneuf post from loose puck428121344451282244735-
TORPP303:4623Bozak wide from rebound of Phaneuf shot428121344451282244735-
TORPP303:2523GOAL! Bozak deflects Kessel shot428121344451282244735-
TORES302:5333Booth drives23472035145632226415535
TORES302:3333Van Riemsdyk drives2419212444559493764735
BUFES301:5433Gionta from Varone42811835145841282415535
TORES404:2233Panik drives wide2418445145-632264735-
BUFES403:5733Moulson from Ristolainen428124445-1226415535-
TORES403:4133Kessel drives428135145-4482415535-
TORES403:0633Bozak deflects Kessel shot428135145-4482415535-
TORES402:4933Kessel drives wide478134445-6322475135-
BUFES402:2933Larsson from Weber2421334445-632264735-
TORES401:3733Komarov from Panik471835145-2682475135-
BUFES401:1533Varone deflects Weber shot428135145-848264735-
BUFES401:1433Varone from rebound428135145-848264735-
TORES400:3633Van Riemsdyk drives242134445-632264735-
TORES400:0033Bozak from loose puck234235145-122664735-

Player-by-Player data:

PlayerOverallEven StrengthES Close
ForAgainstDiffTOIForAgainstDiffTOIForAgainstDiff
Brewer66022:0156-120:2834-1
Phaneuf1991027:58119220:56981
Lindstrom34-109:4234-109:42330
Panik45-117:4325-314:3724-2
Lupul24-213:0914-311:3314-3
Booth112916:0492713:19422
Van Riemsdyk115618:2445-113:2224-2
Sill12-106:0612-105:4412-1
Smith102815:1192714:10523
Holland75220:3855016:2434-1
Erixon62416:1142212:18220
Bozak1210223:17510-517:4658-3
Rielly139425:4869-319:4668-2
Komarov101916:18101914:30615
Gardiner1410425:361210222:34990
MacWilliam42212:2442211:26110
Kozun23-106:0823-106:0812-1
Kessel1210223:22510-518:0858-3
Bernier31191265:002119253:451516-1

Trevor Smith, David Booth and Leo Komarov had a spectacular game, one of the best from a Leaf line this season. They had the most defensive zone starts of any forward group, but all three finished in the positive at ES Close, the only Leaf forwards to do so, and they also drove the Leafs‘ chase in the third period. Komarov in particular was excellent, on for ten Leaf chances, the best of the forwards, and a +9. That’s one of the top differentials put up by a Leaf this year, and the 2nd best in 2015. The big contrast was Joffrey Lupul, who had some poor defensive efforts, and generated very little offensively, leading to less than five minutes of ice time in the second half of the game. Tyler Bozak got the two key goals, but his defence was poor. He and Kessel were on for five Leaf chances, but both finished -5 at ES overall, and were on for a team worst ten Sabre chances. Peter Holland, looking to take advantage of Nazem Kadri’s absence, had a slow start, but finished well, ending up at even.

Andrew MacWilliam got easy zone starts in his NHL debut, but looked good, along with Tim Erixon. That pair were both in the positive in terms of chances, and weren’t on for much Sabres offense. Dion Phaneuf made a major gaffe in the first period, but had the hardest zone starts on the team, played almost twenty-eight minutes, and was a +1 in chances at ES Close. He was on for many Buffalo chances, but also for a lot of offense, and on the whole it was an effective game. The same was true for Jake Gardiner, who had defensive struggles, but was was an important part of the Leafs‘ attack in the third period.

Cumulative numbers this season:

OverallPos#Even StrengthES Close
ForAgainst%TOIForAgainst%
KadriF6431732949.1%14:5519018051.4%
KomarovF4916015650.6%12:04869248.3%
PolakD5628634645.3%17:5417418848.1%
RiellyD6736940847.5%16:5220522547.7%
GardinerD6533336547.7%17:5218820947.4%
BernierG4865775646.5%45:2340745547.2%
PanikF6216818547.6%10:069711046.9%
PhaneufD5630937245.4%17:0918621446.5%
LupulF4117222743.1%13:299711645.5%
KesselF6834841245.8%14:5720525045.1%
SmithF4410311247.9%08:46597344.7%
BozakF6832939345.6%14:4418223144.1%
Van RiemsdykF6831741243.5%14:4518824943.0%
ReimerG2733942344.5%42:2916422342.4%
HollandF5816023240.8%11:348712042.0%
BoothF4510913644.5%09:49598640.7%
RobidasD5219226741.8%14:449316336.3%
KozunF13163233.3%06:4992031.0%

Komarov’s great game sees him make a move up the table, and with Kadri out, he will enter the next game as the Leafs’ top player in chances. Trevor Smith also made a nice move up, and he’s actually the #3 regular Leaf at ES overall, just under 48%.