Toronto 4 – Buffalo 3 (OT)
Tuesday, January 29, 2013
First Niagara Center
Matt Frattin played spoiler to Mikhail Grigorenko’s memorable day, scoring the game-winning goal with two seconds left on the clock as the Toronto Maple Leafs pulled out a 4-3 overtime win over the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday. Frattin drove down the left wing while fighting off Jordan Leopold, and then roofed a shot over the right shoulder of goaltender Ryan Miller for his second goal of the night. The Sabres picked up a point in the overtime loss, but dropped to 2-3-1 on the season after winning their first two games. Grigorenko, who earlier in the day was informed that he’d be staying in Buffalo for the rest of the season, tied the game at three with his first career NHL goal at 7:10 of the third. The 18-year-old rookie was parked in front with his back to goaltender James Reimer, but his quick backhand shot from the slot found daylight between Reimer’s legs. Jason Pominville got Buffalo on the board in the first with his fourth goal in six games, and Andrej Sekera scored his first of the year in the second.
Patrick Kaleta left the game with a neck injury after taking a hit from behind from Mike Brown in the first period. After having x-rays at the arena, Kaleta was taken to hospital for a precautionary check. Brown only received a two-minute boarding penalty on the play… Thomas Vanek returned after missing Sunday’s game in Washington with a muscle strain… Robyn Regehr was scratched from the lineup with a lower body injury… TJ Brennan and Mike Weber both made their season debuts for the Sabres after being healthy scratches for the first five games… Nathan Gerbe (healthy) and Alexander Sulzer (healthy) were also scratched for the Sabres.
BEHIND THE NUMBERS
With his goal, Grigorenko becomes the fifth-youngest player to score in Sabres history… Pierre Turgeon is the youngest at 18 years/54 days (goal scored on Oct. 21, 1987)… Pominville’s first-period goal was the 179th of his career, moving him ahead of Phil Housley for 12th in Sabres history… Pominville now has points in five of Buffalo’s six games… Vanek assisted on the goal, passing Miro Satan for 10th in franchise history with 457 points… Sekera’s second-period goal was his first since Feb. 24, 2012… Buffalo’s eight-shot second period advantage (15-7) tied the highest margin of shots favoring the Sabres in a single period this season (Jan. 24 vs. Carolina, 2nd per.)... Steve Ott finished the night with a game-high 16 faceoff wins on 19 draws… This was Buffalo’s first OT game of the season; they are 136-129-215 all-time in the extra period… The Sabres are now: 0-1-1 when opponent scores first; 0-3-1 when tied after first period; 0-2-1 when trailing after two; and 1-0-1 when outshooting an opponent… Vanek now has 21 points (5+16) in his last 15 games… Sabres drop to 8-1-1 in last 10 at home vs. Toronto.
“We weren’t able to get two points, but sometimes you have to start with one and hopefully this little stretch will make us stronger and we'll learn that we've got to play complete games ... you can never give up until the end.” – Jason Pominville
“This game, after the second period, I didn't have any emotion. I was just really down. I was having a really bad game. Things just didn't work well for me. In the third period, Lindy started putting me on the ice and it turned around …. I was really excited and if we would have ended up winning it would've been a great night for me. I was really happy that I scored the goal.” – Mikhail Grigorenko
“I just didn't feel like I gave the guys much help tonight anyway. We get three goals and we carry the lead. I've got to make a play, make more saves. I didn't have it tonight. I just didn't have it, for whatever reason. It was definitely the kind of game I need to show up for and be better.” – Ryan Miller
BUFFALO’S REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Time on Ice: Christian Ehrhoff, 28:28
Shots: Ehrhoff/Vanek/Ennis, 4
Blocked Shots: Leopold/Sekera, 4
Faceoff Wins: Steve Ott, 16
Total Faceoffs: Ott/Hodgson, 19
Hits: Drew Stafford, 5
Buffalo scored on their only power play of the night in the first period when Jason Pominville waited out Reimer with a wrist shot from the right hashmarks, while Mike Brown was serving a minor penalty for a faceoff violation. The Sabres were a perfect two-for-two on penalty kills, and are now 20/25 (80%) on the season.
* Thursday @ Boston, 7 p.m.
* Saturday @ Montreal, 2 p.m.
* Sunday vs. Florida, 3 p.m.