Leafs Drop Home Opener Against Sabres

The Canadian Press | Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 4:47 AM

Ryan Miller stopped 34 shots to lead the Buffalo Sabres past the Toronto Maple Leafs 2-1 on Monday night.

Miller was a big reason why Toronto's fans spent much of the contest sitting on their hands in the Leafs' home opener.

He lost his shutout bid when Nazem Kadri scored on the power play with 1:42 remaining, his second goal of the season. Toronto's Joffrey Lupul appeared to tie it seconds later with goalie Ben Scrivens on the bench but the goal was disallowed.

With Scrivens on the bench and Toronto on a late power play, Kadri was all alone to the side of Miller but couldn't get his stick on the bouncing puck in the dying seconds.

Cody Hodgson and Jason Pominville had the goals for Buffalo in the first of four meetings this season between the Sabres (2-0-0) and Leafs (1-1-0), who opened their season Saturday night with a 2-1 win over Montreal.

Miller improved to 28-14-0 all-time against Toronto and came into the contest with a 2.44 goals-against average and .922 save percentage. He has more wins (28) against Toronto than any other team.

Miller was also solid in goal for Buffalo after registering a 27-save performance in the Sabres' 5-2 season-opening home win over the Philadelphia Flyers on Sunday night.

Toronto outshot Buffalo 13-5 in the first but it was the Sabres who had the period's lone goal as Hodgson opened the scoring at 8:51, deflecting Christian Ehrhoff's point shot past Scrivens for his second goal of the season.

The Leafs had a glorious chance to tie it when the Sabres took three straight minor penalties - giving the home team an extended two-man advantage - but the closest they came to scoring was captain Dion Phaneuf's slapshot going off the post.

Pominville put Buffalo ahead 2-0 at 4:51 of the second with his first goal of the season. The Sabres' captain - who had three assists Sunday night against Philadelphia - took a nice setup pass from Thomas Vanek and finished the play off by firing a wrist shot through Scrivens' legs.

The assist was Vanek's sixth point of the season after registering two goals and three assists against Philadelphia.

NOTES - Attendance at the Air Canada Centre was 19,475 . . . Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield participated in the ceremonial opening faceoff from space . . . Toronto won the season series last year 3-2-1 and was 3-0-0 at home versus Buffalo . . . The Leafs opened the season with the NHL's second-youngest roster with an average age of 27.1 years. Only Columbus (26.9 years) is younger . . . Saturday's road win in Montreal marked the third straight season Toronto opened the campaign on a winning note . . . Monday's game was the 96th home opener in Leafs' history (44-33-15-3). Toronto opened its home schedule against Buffalo for the sixth time (2-3-1-0) . . . Toronto's next game is Wednesday night in Pittsburgh.

Scoring Summary
1st Period
08:51BUF Cody Hodgson (2) ASST: Christian Ehrhoff (1), Jason Pominville (4) 1 - 0 BUF
2nd Period
04:51BUF Jason Pominville (1) ASST: Thomas Vanek (4) 2 - 0 BUF
3rd Period
18:18TOR PPG - Nazem Kadri (2) ASST: Michael Kostka (2), Tyler Bozak (1) 2 - 1 BUF
Three Stars of the Game
Ryan Miller
Ryan Miller
SA: 35TOI: 60:00
GA: 1EV: 19-19
PIM: 0PP: 15-16
SV%: .971SH: 0-0
Jason Pominville
Jason Pominville
G: 1Shots: 3
A: 1Hits: 0
PTS: 2PIM: 0
+/-: 2TOI: 22:02
Dion Phaneuf
Dion Phaneuf
G: 0Shots: 6
A: 0Hits: 3
PTS: 0PIM: 0
+/-: -1TOI: 28:43
Penalty Summary
1st Period
02:34BUF John Scott  Fighting (maj) against  Colton Orr
02:34TOR Colton Orr  Fighting (maj) against  John Scott
02:34TOR John-Michael Liles  Cross checking against  Patrick Kaleta
02:34BUF Patrick Kaleta  Unsportsmanlike conduct against  John-Michael Liles
09:11BUF Cody Hodgson  Tripping against  Michael Kostka
14:24BUF Drew Stafford  Interference against  Joffrey Lupul
14:45BUF Tyler Myers  Delaying Game-Puck over glass
16:01BUF Steve Ott  Closing hand on puck
2nd Period
07:06TOR Carl Gunnarsson  Interference against  Patrick Kaleta
09:40TOR Phil Kessel  Interference on goalkeeper against  Patrick Kaleta
09:40BUF Patrick Kaleta  Roughing against  Phil Kessel
11:13BUF Thomas Vanek  Tripping against  John-Michael Liles
15:15TOR Clarke MacArthur  Interference against  Jason Pominville
17:49BUF Patrick Kaleta  Misconduct (10 min) against  Mike Brown
17:49TOR Mike Brown  Misconduct (10 min) against  Patrick Kaleta
19:30TOR James van Riemsdyk  Tripping against  Christian Ehrhoff
3rd Period
05:41TOR Mark Fraser  Fighting (maj) against  Marcus Foligno
05:41BUF Marcus Foligno  Fighting (maj) against  Mark Fraser
18:14BUF Patrick Kaleta  Roughing against  Tyler Bozak
19:52BUF Cody Hodgson  Tripping against  Joffrey Lupul
shots by period
Team Stats
Power Plays0/31/7
Faceoff Wins1945
Blocked Shots188
Penalty Minutes3830
3J. LeopoldD0001025:12
9S. OttC0000215:51
10C. EhrhoffD0120021:01
19C. HodgsonC1022418:56
21D. StaffordR0003218:01
24R. RegehrD0001017:42
25M. GrigorenkoC0000013:00
26T. VanekL0123218:52
29J. PominvilleR1123022:02
32J. ScottL000051:58
36P. KaletaR0000167:37
37M. EllisL000104:33
44A. SekeraD0011020:06
52A. SulzerD0010015:02
55J. HechtC0001017:46
57T. MyersD0000218:06
63T. EnnisC0003018:19
82M. FolignoL0001513:44
30R. Miller3435.97160:00
3D. PhaneufD00-16028:43
11J. McClementC0000011:01
16C. MacArthurL00-23214:19
18M. BrownR0001104:28
19J. LupulL0004020:24
21J. van RiemsdykL0002213:44
24J. LilesD0004218:28
28C. OrrR000054:26
36C. GunnarssonD00-10220:33
41N. KuleminL00-22016:32
42T. BozakC0102021:19
43N. KadriC1001015:10
45M. FraserD000058:49
47L. KomarovC0000015:08
53M. KostkaD01-11027:02
55K. HolzerD00-12015:09
81P. KesselR0007222:27
84M. GrabovskiC00-20016:46
30B. Scrivens1820.90057:32