Hockey was back at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto Monday night after a 113-day lockout. Other than that, not much has changed. The Leafs dropped their home opener 2-1 to the Buffalo Sabres in front of an anything but rowdy crowd. For the 12th time in 14 games, Toronto can’t seem to capitalize on its home-ice advantage.
Sabres goalie, Ryan Miller, was nothing short of spectacular stopping 34 shots and allowing only one goal late in the third. Despite multiple power play advantages the Leafs could not get the puck past the Buffalo netminder. With the win Miller improves his all-time record to 28-14-0 against Toronto. Leafs rookie goalie, Ben Scrivens, had 18 saves in the loss.
Buffalo, coming off their home opener win against Philly on Sunday, went ahead midway through the first when Christian Ehrhoff’s shot went off Cody Hodgson’s upper body scooting past Scrivens. Buffalo captain, Jason Pominville, added to the Sabres lead later in the second with a pass from Thomas Vanek. The two forces combined for a stellar home game last Sunday with Vanek boasting 2 goals and 3 assists and Pominville following suit with 3 assists.
Toronto’s Nazem Kadri gave the Leafs a glimmer of hope with the lone Toronto goal 1:42 left in the third. Home fans finally began to cheer when 25 seconds later Joffrey Lupul appeared to tie the game. The goal was reviewed and waived off as a hand puck.
Toronto heads to Pittsburgh on Wednesday hoping to repeat their winning away performance in Montreal.