BUFFALO, N.Y.—Evander Kane and the Buffalo Sabres brought relentless pressure last night.
The payoff came just in time.
Kane tied it with 4:29 left with his first goal for Buffalo as the Sabres came back to beat the Toronto Maple Leafs 2-1 in a shootout.
“We felt we weren’t going to be shutout and we made that happen,” Kane noted.
Kane tied it on the team’s 33rd shot when he pushed a wrister over Jonathan Bernier’s shoulder.
Buffalo had acquired Kane from Winnipeg in February, but he was unable to play until this season after having shoulder surgery.
“We definitely deserved to win that one,” Kane remarked.
“We worked hard for it from the start, got down early but kept battling and were able to get the victory.”
Matt Moulson and Tyler Ennis scored in the shootout while Chad Johnson made 23 saves as Buffalo improved to 2-4.
P.A. Parenteau scored and Bernier made 34 saves as the Leafs fell to 1-3-2.
Buffalo now has won six-straight at home against the Leafs—part of a 16-1-1 run of home dominance against Toronto.
Buffalo got off to a fast start but it was Parenteau who opened the scoring when he redirected Roman Polak’s shot from the right point over Johnson’s shoulder at the 1:28 mark.
The game went to a 3-on-3 overtime, where Buffalo quickly had a 3-on-1 foiled by Bernier.
Johnson then made an acrobatic left pad save to stop Kadri deep into overtime, and Toronto missed two other chances to score.
“It happened so fast I was sort of in desperation mode at that point and I just stuck my leg out,” Johnson recalled.
“You’re just sort of in the moment at that stage of the game.”
In the first, Kane picked up a loose puck to spring a 2-on-1 with rookie Jack Eichel, but elected to make a pass that was pushed away from danger.
The pair was responsible for much of the Sabres’ attack, with 13 of Buffalo’s 35 shots on goal.
Bernier made a point-blank stop on Moulson during a Buffalo power play about nine minutes into the period, then denied Kane moments later.
Off Tyler Ennis’ takeaway at the blueline, Nicolas Deslauriers put a shot past Bernier but off the crossbar.
Ennis and Cody Franson each had chances to beat Bernier during a possession with about six minutes left, but the Toronto goalie saved both.
Bernier said his strong performance was in response to Leafs’ coach Mike Babcock.
“He challenged me behind the doors, too,” Bernier noted.
“That’s part of the job. I’ve got to be better,” he stressed.
“You’ve got to take it; you can’t take it too personally.”
Elsewhere in the NHL, Edmonton beat Detroit 3-1, Philadelphia topped Boston 5-4 (OT), and Carolina edged Colorado 1-0 (OT).