Leafs’ third win in a row leaves people talking playoffs


The Toronto Maple Leafs took the Ottawa Senators’ fifth spot in the East with a 4-0 win on Saturday, leaving many onlookers to speak pretty loudly about the Buds finally making the playoffs.

PHT’s own Joe Yerdon proclaimed it. So did the National Post’s Bruce Arthur. The Globe & Mail’s James Mirtle thinks it’s unlikely that they’ll drop out.

The latest reason why the Leafs are playing so well? Secondary scoring – if you can call it that – from Joffrey Lupul’s red-hot line.

Lupul (one-goal, three assists) helped Nazem Kadri keep his outstanding season going; the young Leafs forward had a hat trick and an assist.

When you combine the Kadri-Lupul combo with Phil Kessel and James van Riemsdyk (or mix and match the different possibilities), it appears that Maple Leafs are as dangerous as they’ve been since the last lockout.

Many believe that it’s going to be enough to break their nine-year drought.

Video: Eichel’s first career NHL goal

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Didn’t take long for Jack Eichel to make his mark at the NHL level.

The No. 2 overall pick at this year’s draft scored his first-ever NHL goal in his first-ever NHL game on Thursday night, cutting Ottawa’s lead to 2-1 in the third period of Buffalo’s season-opener.

Marcus Foligno and another new Sabre, Evander Kane, registered the assists on Eichel’s marker, which came on the power play.


Tough start: Lehner knocked out of Sabres debut, won’t return

Matt Puempel, Alex Chiasson, Robin Lehner
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Chances are Robin Lehner won’t look back fondly on his first game as a Sabre.

Midway through Buffalo’s season-opener against Ottawa, Lehner — facing his old team for the first time since getting traded this summer — suffered a lower-body injury, and was forced from the contest.

During the second intermission, the Sabres ruled out Lehner for the night.

It was a difficult turn of events for 24-year-old, who admitted he was keen to go up against the Sens. He had a bit of a chip on his shoulder about his time in the Canadian capital; Lehner felt he never got a full opportunity to run with the No. 1 gig, and probably wasn’t thrilled GM Bryan Murray opted to keep Craig Anderson and Andrew Hammond instead of him.

As for tonight’s injury, details are scarce. All that’s known is the ailment was serious enough for Lehner to leave and not return, forcing backup Chad Johnson into duty.

Prior to getting hurt, Lehner had stopped 11 of 12 shots faced.