TORONTO (AP) - Jason Pominville scored on the power play at 14:42 of the third period Friday and the Buffalo Sabres won their third straight preseason game, 2-1 over the Toronto Maple Leafs.
The Maple Leafs killed off four previous penalties before Pominville connected for the Sabres with the man advantage.
With Cody Franson in the penalty box for holding, the puck got caught in some traffic in front. Pominville was in the right place to snap in his second of the preseason past Leafs goalie James Reimer.
With both sides featuring almost full-strength squads, Buffalo dominated the bulk of the early exchanges with the Sabres' opening goal coming at 7:15 of the first. ...more.
Even if it was a preseason game, Corey Tropp will never forget his first goal in a Sabres uniform. With the puck deep in the Toronto zone, defenseman Keith Aulie’s clearing attempt is picked off just inside the blueline by Matt Ellis who finds Tropp alone in the slot. Tropp turns quickly, makes another quick move and slides the puck between James Reimer’s pads. “Ellie did a great job stepping up,” Tropp explains. “He made a heck of a pass to me in the slot, and I just tried to get it off as quick as I could.”
Ryan Miller. Turned away 33 Toronto shots to earn the victory, including 14 of the 15 that were sent his way in the second period. Miller’s biggest save of the night came at 12:45 of the third period when he stopped Joffrey Lupul not once, but twice. The second save even drew some applause from the Toronto crowd as he had to reach back to snag Lupul’s shot in the crease. Miller realizes it’s still the preseason, but knows that he can always improve. “For me it’s crucial to stay in the plays and not over commit; and the few times I did over commit tonight, I got kinda fortunate. I just have to watch for that.”
- Buffalo has started the preseason 3-0 for the first time since 2000. The Sabres won seven straight to open that preseason, and finished 7-0-1.
- Jason Pominville was designated as Buffalo’s captain tonight, while Nathan Gerbe and Jordan Leopold were the assistants.
- Nathan Gerbe talked about the late game scrum that started when Toronto crashed the net with 21 seconds left in the third, and resulted in misconduct penalties to Patrick Kaleta and Clarke MacArthur: “That’s just competitiveness. We want to protect Ryan as much as possible, and when guys get in the paint we’re going to do anything to stop that.”
- Of the 20 players in Buffalo’s lineup tonight: 12 were acquired through the draft; five were free agents; two arrived via trades, and Matt Ellis is the only waiver claim.
- The Sabres were outshot 34-33 on the night, with 29 of those shots coming in the first and third periods. Buffalo was outshot 15-4 in the second period.
- Pominville has now scored in each of Buffalo’s last two games.
- Pominville and Brad Boyes each took a game-high four shots for Buffalo.
That’s just competitiveness. We want to protect Ryan as much as possible, and when guys get in the paint we’re going to do anything to stop that. - Nathan Gerbe
- Christian Ehrhoff assisted on Pominville’s game winner, giving him three points (1+2) in two games.
- Paul Gaustad led both teams with 13 faceoff wins.
- The Sabres are now 137-146-48 all-time in the preseason, and 24-10-2 since the start of 2005-06.
- This was the 64th all-time preseason game between the Sabres and Maple Leafs since 1974. Buffalo holds a 31-27-6 advantage, and they are now 14-8-2 in Toronto.
These same two teams close out their home-and-home series Saturday night at the First Niagara Center at 7 p.m. The game will be preceded by the “Blue & Gold Carpet Walk” beginning at 5 p.m. The Sabres will wrap up their three-game weekend Sunday afternoon in Columbus. Game time is 5 p.m.