Sabres open post-Ruff era with loss to Maple Leafs

Thu Feb 21, 2013 10:41pm EST
 

By Frank Pingue

TORONTO (Reuters) - Playing under a new head coach for the first time in 16 years, the struggling Buffalo Sabres fell 3-1 to the Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday.

A day after firing Lindy Ruff, who had been the National Hockey League's (NHL) longest-tenured coach, the Sabres were mostly flat in interim coach Ron Rolston's debut and slumped to their third straight loss.

"He came in, has new ideas, new things that he wants to bring to us but he hasn't really had time to even work on most of the things," Sabres captain Jason Pominville told reporters.

"It's not something that's going to change overnight, the process is going to take time. I mean, who knows, it might take a game, it might take a couple games."

After a decent opening period in which the Sabres built a 1-0 lead, the visitors looked out of sorts the rest of the way and finished the game 0-for-3 on the powerplay.

James van Riemsdyk was credited with the game-winning goal when he stormed into the Sabres' zone on a two-on-one and sent a Phil Kessel pass into the Buffalo net with under two minutes to play in the second period.

Van Riemsdyk put the game out of reach late in the third period when he slid home a Cody Fransen pass while Buffalo had two men off the ice serving penalties.

Buffalo's Tyler Ennis opened the scoring when he broke into the Toronto zone and beat goalie Ben Scrivens with a wrist shot that zipped into the top left corner of the net 13 minutes into the opening period.   Continued...

 
Toronto Maple Leafs Tyler Bozak (L) and teammate James van Riemsdyk (2nd L) celebrate van Riemsdyk's goal near Buffalo Sabres goalie Ryan Miller and Alexander Sulzer (R) during the second period of their NHL hockey game in Toronto February 21, 2013. REUTERS/Aaron Harris