Morgan Rielly's first goal of the season came with 11.8 seconds remaining in the third period to help the Toronto Maple Leafs stun the Buffalo Sabres, 5-4 on Saturday night at KeyBank Center.
Toronto scored first thanks to an errant pass by David Kampf that hit a Sabres defenseman in front of the net and Aaron Dell did not see as the puck slid between his legs and into the net. The Maple Leafs gained the 1-0 lead less than three minutes into the game.
Jeff Skinner was able to tie the game at 1-1 with just over five minutes remaining in the opening period. Skinner's fourth goal of the season came after a shot by Colin Miller missed the net and bounced off of the wall and right to the forward along the left wing half wall. Miller and Kyle Okposo were credited with the assists.
Buffalo outshot Toronto, 13-5 through the opening 20 minutes, thanks in part to a pair of power play chances. Toronto defenseman T.J. Brodie took a hooking minor early in the period, and then forward Pierre Engvall was penalized for hooking just after the Sabres tied the game.
A pair of goals just 1:10 apart for the Maple Leafs helped the team open up a 3-1 lead midway through the game.
Ondrej Kase scored first to make it 2-1 Toronto after he was able to re-group following a flubbed shot attempt. Kase fired a wrist shot into the top corner of the net for the goal that was asissted by John Tavares and Auston Matthews.
Just over a minute later, Michael Bunting finished off a play in the offensive zone that was created by a Sabres turnover behind the net. Jake Muzzin and Jason Spezza combined to set up Bunting for his fourth goal of the year.
Tage Thompson's fifth goal of the season came on a one-time opportunity from the top of the right wing faceoff circle. His goal with under three minutes left in the middle stanza brought Buffalo within a goal, 3-2. Skinner made the pass that setup the young forward and was given the lone assist.
The first Sabres penalty of the game resulted in Toronto's fourth goal of the game. Tavares was able to re-direct Rielly's shot from the point into the net and make it 4-2 Toronto in the third period. His eighth goal of the season came with five seconds left in Arttu Ruotsalainen's hooking minor.
However, Buffalo charged back minutes later to tie the game at 4-4 with just over eight minutes to go in regulation.
Skinner's second goal, and third point, of the night brought Buffalo within a goal, 4-3, thanks to Rasmus Asplund and Thompson.
59 seconds later, Rasmus Dahlin fired a shot from the point that beat goalie Joseph Woll to tie the score.
With time running down in regulation, Rielly took a shot from the point that hit the cross bar behind Dell and bounced across the goal line for the game-winning goal. Alex Kerfoot assisted on the score that came with less than 12 seconds to go in regulation.
BUF: 14:42 - Jeff Skinner (4) (Colin Miller, Kyle Okposo)
TOR: 2:43 - David Kampf (2) (Alex Kerfoot, Pierre Engvall)
BUF: 17:33 - Tage Thompson (5) (Jeff Skinner)
TOR: 7:18 - Ondrej Kase (4) (John Tavares, Auston Matthews); 8:28 - Michael Bunting (4) (Jake Muzzin, Jason Spezza)
BUF: 10:47 - Jeff Skinner (5) (Tage Thompson); 11:46 - Rasmus Dahlin (2) (Arttu Ruotsalainen, Kyle Okposo)
TOR: 9:22 - John Tavares (8) PPG (Morgan Rielly, Mitch Marner); 19:48 - Morgan Rielly (1) (Alex Kerfoot)
TOR: 9:47 - T.J. Brodie (Hooking - 2 min.); 15:27 - Pierre Engvall (Hooking - 2 min.)
BUF: 7:26 - Arttu Ruotsalainen (Hooking - 2 min.)
Losi and Gangi Three Stars of the Game:
1.) Jeff Skinner - BUF
2.) Tage Thompson - BUF
3.) John Tavares - TOR
The blue and gold are on the road to face the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday night. Buffalo and Pittsburgh drop the puck at seven o'clock at PPG Paints Arena on the flagship home of the Sabres Radio Network - WGR Sports Radio 550. Pregame coverage with Mike Schopp and the Bulldog begins at 6 p.m. EST.