Toronto, Ont. (WGR 550) - After starting the 2022-23 season with a strong 7-3-0 record, the Buffalo Sabres suddenly sit at 7-11-0 after suffering an eighth-consecutive loss on Saturday.
While visiting the Toronto Maple Leafs, the blue and gold were felled by a final score of 5-2 at Scotiabank Arena.
The opening period couldn't have gone much worse for the Sabres, who found themselves down 3-0 after 20 minutes of play.
Maple Leafs captain John Tavares (power play), forward Calle Jarnkrok and defenseman Mark Giordano (shorthanded) all netted goals against Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen, who was making his season debut for Buffalo.
Giordano's tally stirred some controversy, as initially he was not credited with a goal on the ice. After review, the call on the ice was reversed by the league office.
Both teams traded power play goals in the second period of play.
The first goal came with the Sabres finally getting on the scoreboard at the midway point of the stanza. It was Alex Tuch who re-directed a shot from Dylan Cozens past Maple Leafs goalie Matt Murray for his ninth goal of the season.
Just minutes later, though, Toronto re-upped their lead to three when William Nylander slammed home a loose puck on a man advantage. It was also Nylander's ninth goal of the campaign, with help from Tavares and Auston Matthews.
Nylander doubled down in the third period, as he potted his 10th goal in breakaway fashion with more assistance from Tavares.
Later in the period with about five minutes left to play and the Sabres down 5-1, Casey Mittelstadt knocked home a loose puck around goalie Murray for another power play tally. The initial shot came off the stick of Victor Olofsson, and it was Mittelstadt's fifth goal of the season.
TOR: 12:58 - John Tavares (10) PPG (Mitch Marner, Morgan Rielly); 17:27 - Calle Jarnkrok (4) (Pierre Engvall, Rasmus Sandin); 18:21 - Mark Giordano (1) SHG (Mitch Marner, David Kampf)
BUF: 10:01 - Alex Tuch (9) PPG (Dylan Cozens, Rasmus Dahlin)
TOR: 14:52 - William Nylander (9) PPG (John Tavares, Auston Matthews)
BUF: 15:07 - Casey Mittelstadt (5) PPG (Victor Olofsson, Owen Power)
TOR: 10:37 - William Nylander (10) (John Tavares)
BUF: 12:45 - Riley Sheahan (Hooking - 2 min.)
TOR: 17:52 - John Tavares (Tripping - 2 min.)
BUF: 14:29 - Henri Jokiharju (Slashing - 2 min.)
TOR: 2:08 - Rasmus Sandin (Hooking - 2 min.); 8:07 - Auston Matthews (Illegal Check to the Head - 2 min.); 11:43 - William Nylander (High-sticking - 2 min.)
BUF: 18:50 - Riley Sheahan (Cross-checking - 2 min.)
TOR: 5:22 - William Nylander (Hooking - 2 min.); 13:54 - Timothy Liljegren (Boarding - 2 min.)
Losi and Gangi Three Stars of the Game:
1.) William Nylander - TOR
2.) John Tavares - TOR
3.) Matt Murray - TOR
The Sabres head to Montreal to play the Canadiens on Tuesday night at the Bell Centre. Faceoff is set for just after 7 p.m. EST with pregame coverage on WGR with Mike Schopp and the Bulldog starting at 6 p.m. EST.