Sabres edge Maple Leafs in shootout
Buffalo, NY – Steve Ott scored the winner in the sixth round of the shootout as Buffalo took a 5-4 win over Toronto on Thursday.
Ott came flying in on his chance and was able to tuck a backhand between the right post and Toronto goaltender James Reimer for the lead. Ryan Miller then preserved the win by stopping Clarke MacArthur's backhand offering.
Christian Ehrhoff had a goal and two assists, Tyler Ennis gave a goal and an assist and Jason Pominville and Marcus Foligno also scored for the Sabres, who have won two straight. Miller stopped 30 shots in the win.
"It wasn't our best game tonight but we got the win," said Miller. "But we battled back and had a lead, but you have to credit the Leafs because they played a great game tonight. This was one of the tougher games we've had this season."
Nazem Kadri had two goals and an assist for the Maple Leafs, who have lost six of seven, while Tyler Bozak and Mikhail Grabovski also scored. Reimer finished the loss with 32 stops.
"We had a lot of guys expending a lot of energy early in the game," said Toronto head coach Randy Carlyle. "We still found a way to rally and get a point of it, so it wasn't a total loss tonight."
Buffalo had an early four-minute power play after Toronto's Colton Orr was charged with two minors and a major for picking a fight with Patrick Kaleta, but Buffalo failed to cash in.
Toronto, though, did score a pair of goals separated by 1:16 later in the first period to take the lead.
The first goal came at the 8:48 mark. Phil Kessel sent a short pass from the left circle into to the slot, where Bozak gathered the puck and snapped it in for a power-play marker.
Kadri scored a bit later when he re-directed a Nikolai Kulemin pass into the net.
Buffalo, though, got one back with 1:06 showing on the first period clock, as Ott centered the puck from behind the net and Ennis wristed it in for a power- play goal.
The Leafs took a 3-1 lead at the 8:52 mark of the second, as a slap shot from Jake Gardiner in the high slot was deflected into the net by Grabovski.
Buffalo, though, scored twice in the period to tie the game. The first goal came when Foligno jammed home a rebound at the 11:39 mark, and Pominville scored 45 seconds later off a wrister in front.
The Sabres then took a 4-3 lead just 22 seconds into the final frame while on the power play, as Ehrhoff's slap shot from the high slot went through traffic for his third goal of the year.
Toronto answered six minutes later on the power play when Cody Franson's wrister from the right circle was tipped into the net by Kadri for his 13th of the season.
Buffalo starts a three-game road swing in Montreal on Saturday ... Toronto hosts Boston for the front end of a home-and-home on Saturday ... Each team won twice in the season series ... Kessel finished with two assists, while Cody Hodgson had two helpers for the Sabres ... Toronto forward Joffrey Lupul was handed a two-game suspension on Thursday for an illegal check to the head against Tampa Bay defenseman Victory Hedman in a game on Wednesday.