Breaking Tampa Bay, Florida and national news and weather from Tampa Bay Online and The Tampa Tribune | TBO.com
  • Home
National Hockey League

Leafs overcome early deficit, down Sabres in SO

Toronto, ON (SportsNetwork.com) - Joffrey Lupul scored the lone goal of the shootout, as Toronto rallied from a two-goal deficit and downed Buffalo, 4-3, at Air Canada Centre.

Phil Kessel picked up a goal and one assist for the Maple Leafs, who received scores in regulation from Jake Gardiner and Peter Holland.

Jonathan Bernier stopped 32 shots over the first 65 minutes then turned away all three Buffalo chances in the breakaway competition.

Matt Moulson, John Scott and Steve Ott provided offense for the Sabres, while Ryan Miller made 39 saves in the hard-luck loss.

Buffalo took a 2-0 lead on scores 52 seconds apart by Moulson and Scott prior to the eight-minute mark of the opening period.

The latter tallied after following up a shot from Matt Ellis, which bounced free from Bernier's chest and pumping it home from between the circles at the 7:53 mark.

Toronto evened the score on tallies separated by 4:47, with Gardiner's blast from near the blue line eluding an unscreened Miller at 11:38 putting the hosts on the board and Holland creating a deadlock at 16:25 by converting a Mason Raymond dish from the left circle.

The Leafs then assumed a 3-2 edge with 17 seconds left in the period. Scott was in the box for high sticking only 27 seconds prior, and paid for it when Dion Phaneuf's drive was stopped by Miller, but the rebound slid to James van Riemsdyk, who dished across to a streaking Kessel.

The Leafs went in for the kill against a slow Sabres defense, but missed a half-dozen odd-man rushes in the last half of the third period.

Miller was sent to the bench for an extra skater with just over a minute to play, and Buffalo received a break as Phaneuf was sent off for hooking seconds later for a 6-on-4 edge.

The Sabres tied the game when Ott rushed the crease and lifted a loose puck over Bernier a heartbeat before the net came off its moorings with 24.1 to go.

Game Notes

Toronto, which engaged in its fourth consecutive shootout, improved to 2-2 in that run and 6-4 overall this season ... Scott picked up his second NHL goal and first since Nov. 15, 2009 for Minnesota against Carolina ... Cody Franson added two helpers for the Leafs.

12/27 23:25:05 ET

Part of the Tribune family of products

© 2013 TAMPA MEDIA GROUP, LLC