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Live from Sabres at Toronto

TORONTO -- Greetings from The True North, where there are Hockey Hall of Famers wandering throughout Air Canada Centre. It's the Hall of Fame Game, and you can tell by the suits and the security down near the dressing rooms.

Speaking of dressing rooms, the Sabres just came out of theirs for the pregame skate and Jhonas Enroth led them. Lindy Ruff is going back to the rookie goaltender to start the game, just one night after the coach was disappointed in Patrick Lalime's ability to make a save on Benoit Pouliot's game-winning slap shot. Enroth played just 20 minutes in his previous start and gave up three goals to Boston on Wednesday during the Sabres' 5-2 loss.

For once, I don't really have anything witty to lead with in this opening segment. The drive up had its usual frustrating moments with construction and bad Canadian drivers who don't realize the left lane is for passing. My breakfast was phenomenal, but I don't think you care too much about that at the moment.

So with that, I'll go back to writing the Notebook -- which leads with Matt Ellis being recalled -- and I'll be back when the puck drops. That won't be till about 7:25 p.m. because they are honoring the inductees.

FIRST PERIOD

7:27 p.m.: And the puck has dropped with the Sabres starting Jochen Hecht in the middle of Tyler Ennis and Jason Pominville.

7:29 p.m.: It was quiet in here until the scoreboard told the fans to "scream." So they did. Really?

7:30 p.m.: The Sabres' other lines feature Paul Gaustad-Rob Niedermayer-Mike Grier; Matt Ellis-Derek Roy-Thomas Vanek (playing the right wing instead of left); and Cody McCormick-Tim Connolly-Patrick Kaleta.

7:37 p.m.: Whoa, almost dozed off because it's so peaceful in here. Good thing Enroth wasn't sleeping because he had to make a pad save on Mikhail Grabovski with 12:30 left and a glove stop on Fredrik Sjostrom (who?) with 11:39 to go. The shots are 4-4 with 11:15 left.

7:41 p.m.: The Sabres will get the first power play with Kris Versteeg going off for slashing with 9:57 to go. Commercial break gave me a chance to get in touch with my Blasdell friends Joe and Lori, who are up here to enjoy a Sabres-Bills doubleheader. Of course, "enjoy" might not be the right term for those two teams.

7:47 p.m.: Not surprisingly, the Lears kill the penalty.

7:48 p.m.: Enroth stops Clarke MacArthur on a breakaway with 7:34 left to keep the game scoreless.

7:51 p.m.: The Sabres have 11 shots with 4:53 left, but Jean-Sebastien Giguere hasn't needed to make any huge saves. The Leafs have seven shots. It's 0-0.

8:01 p.m.: The Sabres head to the dressing room in a 1-0 hole. Grabovski scored on a slap shot from the middle of the blue line with 16.6 seconds left. The Sabres have a 15-9 edge in shots.

SECOND PERIOD

8:20 p.m.: The puck is dropped. Let's hope this period has more excitement than the first.

8:26 p.m.: Mike Komisarek throws a nice check on Ennis along the boards with 16:50 left, and Steven Montador takes exception and fights the big defenseman. Montador gets roughing-fighting, while Komisarek gets just fighting. It's a Toronto power play.

8:30 p.m.: Toronto's Mike Brown goes to the box for hooking with 14:06 left. It's still 1-0, and still quiet.

8:34 p.m.: The Sabres' power play, which was joined by Niedermayer, also goes quietly. It's 1-0 with 11:31 to go.

8:43 p.m.: The Sabres have been outshot 6-2 through 12 minutes. Real barnburner this game is.

8:46 p.m.: Commercial break. It's still 1-0 with 5:58 left. Toronto has seven shots, the Sabres just three. OK, back to sleep ...

8:51 p.m.: The Leafs take a 2-0 lead with 4:19 left. Roy lost his stick and couldn't kick the puck out, allowing Nikolai Kulemin to keep the puck, work a give-and-go with Grabovski and beat Enroth from close range.

8:56 p.m.: Roy cuts the Sabres' deficit to 2-1. He tips Jordan Leopold's shot on Giguere, who makes the save. The rebound pops up and Roy bats it from midair into the net with 1:14 to go.

8:59 p.m.: End of two, Leafs lead 2-1. Sabres have 21-19 edge in shots.

THIRD PERIOD

9:18 p.m.: And the teams are back.

9:22 p.m.: Shaone Morrisonn's hold gives Toronto a power play with 14:43 left.

9:26 p.m.: Sabres kill it, get PP of their own with 12:28 to go on Mike Brown's boarding call.

9:33 p.m.: Canadian military member introduced with 8:19 left and gets a standing ovation. Take note, HSBC Arena attendees. It's 2-1 Toronto still.

9:35 p.m.: This might be the worst hockey game I've ever seen. That includes pickup games during Skate and Shoot and Mite cross-ice games.

9:45 p.m.: It's 2-1 Toronto with 1:15 left.

9:46 p.m.: Sabres score with 13.1 seconds left to tie the game.

9:53 p.m.: Sabres call timeout with 1:46 left in overtime.

9:56 p.m.: Off to a shootout.

10:03 p.m.: Vanek and John Mitchell trade goals to send it to extra shooters.

10:04 p.m.: Ennis' goal gives the Sabres a 3-2 victory and ends the five-game winless streak.

---John Vogl

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John Vogl

John Vogl

John Vogl has been covering the Sabres since 2002-03, an era that has included playoff runs, last-place finishes and three ownership changes. The award-winning writer is the Buffalo chapter chairman for the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association.

@BuffNewsVogl | [email protected]

About Sabres Edge


Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington, a Canisius College graduate who began his career as a News reporter in 1987, has been covering the Buffalo Sabres since 2007. He is a member of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association and can vouch that exposed flesh freezes instantly when walking in downtown Winnipeg in January.

@BNHarrington | [email protected]


Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz, a native of Lockport, has a bachelor’s degree in journalism/mass communication from St. Bonaventure University and a master’s degree in humanities from the University at Buffalo. An endurance athlete, she has completed several triathlons, half marathons and marathons.

@amymoritz | [email protected]

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