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game recap

Sabres surge past Maple Leafs, win third in row

Get three goals in 1:31 of third period; Korshkov scores in NHL debut for Toronto

by Heather Engel / NHL.com Independent Correspondent

Sabres score three in 1:31

TOR@BUF: Eichel, Okposo, Vesey score 1:31 apart

Jack Eichel, Kyle Okposo and Jimmy Vesey score 1:31 apart, as the Sabres open up a three-goal lead on the Maple Leafs in the 3rd period

  • 02:19 •

BUFFALO -- The Buffalo Sabres scored three goals 1:31 apart in the third period during a 5-2 win against the Toronto Maple Leafs at KeyBank Center on Sunday.

Johan Larsson had a goal and an assist, and Colin Miller and Rasmus Ristolainen each had two assists for the Sabres (27-24-8), who won their third straight game and trail the Philadelphia Flyers by nine points for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference. Carter Hutton made 20 saves.

"The power play had a good night tonight and hadn't scored in the first two chances, and deserved that opportunity (on the first of the three third-period goals) the way they'd been working the puck around the zone and creating offense," Sabres coach Ralph Krueger said. "But probably the best thing that we've been lacking this year is you can see our depth, you can see we've got healthy bodies now and to be able to push after that goal with the fourth and fifth goals was something that we haven't seen enough of this year. It was just great to see a four-line effort here. It was just a real clear mindset."

 

[WATCH: All Maple Leafs vs. Sabres highlights]

 

Egor Korshkov scored in his NHL debut, and Frederik Andersen made 31 saves for the Maple Leafs (31-21-8), who are 3-4-1 in their past eight games and are third in the Atlantic Division.

"This is the worst we've been for a really long time," said Toronto coach Sheldon Keefe, whose team was playing the second of a back-to-back; the Maple Leafs defeated the Ottawa Senators 4-2 on Saturday. "We haven't been able to get the results we're capable of getting. But it seems like each game has been a little bit different in terms of what the issues are. Today we just looked like we had tired legs all over the ice. We were second to pucks, we didn't close in the defensive zone. As a result, we spent way too much time in our own end to let their skill kind of pick us apart."

Video: TOR@BUF: Larsson nets goal after strange bounce

Larsson lifted the rebound of Miller's shot that bounced off the end boards to give the Sabres a 1-0 lead at 1:32 of the second period.

Conor Sheary made it 2-0 when he redirected Miller's point shot at 9:42.

Korshkov capitalized on a Buffalo turnover with a one-timer from the right face-off circle to cut it to 2-1 at 11:29.

Zach Hyman tied it 2-2 when he deflected Jake Muzzin's point shot at 2:11 of the third period.

Jack Eichel put the Sabres ahead 3-2 with a power-play goal from the left circle at 6:06.

Kyle Okposo made it 4-2 off a Maple Leafs turnover in their own end at 6:55.

"As a team we did really well," said Okposo, whose goal gave him his 500th NHL point. "I thought we handled the mostly ups we had in the game. They made a push there at the beginning of the third, they tie the game, [Hutton] bails us out, makes a couple of huge saves, and then we're able to roll from there. So I really like the way that we played the full 60 tonight."

Jimmy Vesey extended the Buffalo lead to 5-2 at 7:37.

"We just haven't been able to put a full 60 together," Maple Leafs captain John Tavares said. "At times we haven't held leads very well, and tonight's a night we just didn't play very good overall. ... But considering the sense of urgency we need to have and the points, how crucial they are, it's disappointing, especially once we gave ourselves an opportunity in the third to win it, to not find a way and raise our game."

Video: TOR@BUF: Sheary tips Miller's shot past Andersen

 

They said it

"Obviously, for the first 10 minutes of the first period I thought we were fine. Not a lot happening either way, but I thought we were fine to start the game and it got away from us in the second half of the first. Then all through the second period for the most part we weren't even in the building." -- Maple Leafs coach Sheldon Keefe

Video: TOR@BUF: Korshkov buries one-timer for first NHL goal

"We're starting to get the confidence going again in the room, and I think that's everything. You see we're getting contributions throughout the lineup. We keep doing that, we keep playing hard, limiting the other teams' opportunities, who knows what can happen. We're focused on our next day and trying to get two points in our next game." -- Sabres captain Jack Eichel

 

Need to know

The last time the Sabres scored three goals in 1:31 or less was April 3, 1998, in a 5-4 win against the Boston Bruins. Brian Holzinger, Matthew Barnaby and Vaclav Varada scored in a span of 1:08. … Buffalo's Rasmus Dahlin, 19, had an assist to tie Hall of Famer Ray Bourque (79) for the second-most points by an NHL defenseman before his 20th birthday. ... Kyle Clifford assisted on Korshkov's goal for the forward's first point with the Maple Leafs since being traded from the Los Angeles Kings on Feb. 5.

 

What's next

Maple Leafs: At the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN, TVAS, ATTSN-PT, NHL.TV)

Sabres: At the Ottawa Senators on Tuesday (7:30 p.m. ET; TSN5, RDS2, MSG-B, NHL.TV)

Video: Sabres score three unanswered in 3rd to beat Leafs

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