Sabres Beat Maple Leafs 4-1

Cal O'Reilly and Johan Larsson each scored twice and the Sabres extended their home dominance over the Maple Leafs with a 4-1 victory Thursday night.

Buffalo built a 3-0 lead and Larsson capped Buffalo's seventh straight home win over Toronto by scoring into an empty net in a meeting of two Atlantic Division rivals who have already been eliminated from playoff contention. The Sabres also improved to 17-1-1 in their past 19 home games against Toronto in a run that dates to Feb. 4, 2009.

Brooks Laich scored for Toronto and Tobias Lindberg set up the goal in his NHL debut. The Maple Leafs acquired Lindberg in a multiplayer deal that sent captain Dion Phaneuf to Ottawa last month.

Chad Johnson made 25 saves for Buffalo.

The loss left the Maple Leafs at the bottom of the NHL standings with five games remaining in their season.

Larsson opened the scoring 7:09 in before the Maple Leafs managed their first shot on net. Driving in on the right wing, Larsson used defenseman Morgan Rielly as a screen and snapped a shot that beat Garret Sparks high on the short side.

Buffalo struck again with a power-play goal with 19 seconds left in the period, when Jack Eichel patiently waited in the left circle and set up O'Reilly driving through the middle, where he wristed a shot inside the left post.

The Maple Leafs were outshot 9-0 before getting their first puck on net with 8:04 left in the first period.

O'Reilly capped the Sabres' surge 3:41 into the second period. He sped up the left wing and beat defensemen T.J. Brennan and Jake Gardiner to the puck that Buffalo's David Legwand cleared from his own zone. O'Reilly leaned into his shot at the left circle and blasted it past Sparks.

Lindberg made a no-look pass from the end boards to set up Laich in front for Toronto's goal 13:32 into the second period.

The Sabres had a goal disallowed with 2:43 left in the second period. Mark Pysyk scored on a shot from the left point, but referee Kendrick Nicholson waved it off by ruling there was incidental contact between Sparks and Sabres forward Hudson Fasching.

Replays showed that Fasching wasn't inside the crease and that it was Sparks who initiated the contact. The goal was still disallowed even after the Sabres used their challenge to have the play reviewed.

The Sabres were allowed to challenge the play even though the NHL announced on its website that the play was not reviewable.

NOTES: Before the game, Sabres coach Dan Bylsma announced LW Evander Kane would miss the final five games of the season after he hurt his left hand in a 3-2 loss at Detroit on Monday. ... Toronto recalled Lindberg, Brennan, RW Kasperi Kapanen and D Andrew Campbell from the AHL earlier in the day. Connor Carrick, Rinat Valiev, Connor Brown and Zach Hyman were loaned to the minors. ... The Maple Leafs' last win at Buffalo was a 4-3 overtime victory on Jan. 29, 2013. There were only three players dressed on Thursday who competed in that game: Buffalo's Marcus Foligno and Toronto's Tyler Boz

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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