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Sabres top Leafs to finish up season series with Toronto

Thursday night, the Sabres took the final meeting of the season with the Leafs 4-1. Johann Larsson and the older O’Reilly, Cal, each had two goals. Johann opened the scoring with a sweet wrist shot and added an empty netter in the waning moments of the third. Cal’s first came on the power play, assisted by Ryan and Jack, and then got his second after chasing down a loose puck in the Toronto zone and blasting a one-timer from the left circle under the helpless Toronto netminder’s glove.

The whole game was played with a good tempo by our guys. We got numerous shots on net, played good defensive zone hockey, clearing out the front of the net to give Chad Johnson good looks at incoming pucks, and had continued solid contributions from four lines.

I want to give particular attention to the way in which Johann Larsson has been playing recently. He has shown huge heart in the second half of the season and it is great to see. This was illustrated at the end of the game when he got his empty netter. As he fired the puck into the net from the center line, Nasim Kadri took a run at him from across the ice. He then side-stepped Kadri and shoved him over the boards, dropped his gloves and went after him for a fight. Immediately, Bogosian and Foligno skated over with their gloves dropped to back up Larsson. It shows the camaraderie that these guys have, going back to the game in Phoenix when they brawled at the end of the game. Although we aren’t where we want to be vis-a-vis the playoffs, I believe we have a solid foundation going into next season.

Chad Johnson got his 20th win of the season, the first time in his career that he has achieved that plateau and he has deserved it.

Chad Johnson got his 20th win of the season, the first time in his career that he has achieved that plateau and he has deserved it. While I have been critical at times of his carelessness in handling the puck behind the net, I think all in all he has played well, particularly considering he had to step in for Lehner repeatedly. I would not, however, go so far as to say he is a legitimate number 1 for us. He does, though, deserve credit for what he has accomplished.

Does anyone think we should keep David Legwand around for next year as a fourth line player? I have been impressed by his professionalism and I do think his veteran leadership has been a benefit to our young players. Do we need that going forward? I am not certain as to what his contract status is, but I would be open to keeping him. Next up is the Rangers on Saturday night. Let’s beat the Blueshirts.

Go Sabres!

Written by Buffalo Rising

Buffalo Rising

Sometimes the authors at Buffalo Rising work on collaborative efforts in order to cover various events and stories. These posts can not be attributed to one single author, as it is a combined effort. Often times a formation of a post gets started by one writer and passed along to one or more writers before completion. At times there are author attributions at the end of one of these posts. Other times, “Buffalo Rising” is simply offered up as the creator of the article. In either case, the writing is original to Buffalo Rising.

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