The Buffalo Sabres battled through some toughs situations to earn a point, but was unable to clinch a victory as they fell to the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-3 in overtime.
Nazem Kadri scored two goals for Toronto, including the overtime winner when he cruised past a gassed Jordan Leopold and roofed a backhand over the shoulder of Ryan Miller. The tilt was back and forth all night as the teams swapped leads. The Leafs held a 3-2 lead over Buffalo going into the third period until rookie Mikhail Grigorenko scored on a backhand to earn his first career NHL goal. The goal seemed to energize the team and the building, especially since Grigorenko's night had been a trying one before that point.
"Great to see (Grigorenko) score a goal," Sabres coach Lindy Ruff said after the game. "That was a moment of great enthusiasm in the game when he scored."
Buffalo's loss will also come at a price. Patrick Kaleta was injured after taking a hit from behind from Mike Brown. The hit immediately drew the attention of Mike Weber, who dropped the gloves on behalf of Kaleta, and received a 10-minute game misconduct penalty, along with an instigator call that canceled Buffalo's power play. Ruff said after the game that Kaleta suffered a neck injury and is being further evaluated.
"(Kaleta's) actually at the hospital right now," Ruff said. "I looked at (the hit), I thought he was sideways. Some of the obligation is on the player. I didn't think he was defenseless. That's a tough area. It's not a blatant 'run a guy from behind.'"
Ruff also said that Kaleta was sent to the hospital strictly as a precaution and that he didn't have an update.
The Sabres seemed to have a spark in the third period and appeared to dominate play throughout overtime, which makes the loss that much harder to take. However, Ruff says the team can take positives from the game to build on.
"I thought we dominated the possession game for most of the night," Ruff said. "We had a lot of great looks. We really skated well. It's a tough way (to lose), but I thought just to come back and get the point, kill the penalty off at the end of the second, that's important."
While Buffalo did earn a point in the standings with the overtime loss, tonight's defeat marks the team's fourth-straight loss, leaving fans with their arms in the air. The Sabres will have another chance to get back in the win column Thursday when they travel to Boston for another divisional game against the Bruins.
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