Post-Game Report: 1/29 vs. TOR

Top Notes

  • Mikhail Grigorenko scored his first NHL goal at 7:10 of the third period, becoming the fifth-youngest player in franchise history to score a goal (18 years, 258 days). The four younger scorers were Pierre Turgeon (18 years, 54 days on 10/21/87), Adam Creighton (18 years, 199 days on 12/18/83), Phil Housley (18 years, 221 days on 10/16/82) and Mike Moller (18 years, 243 days on 2/14/81).
  • Jason Pominville’s power play goal was the 179th goal of his career. With the goal, Pominville passed Phil Housley for 12th-most in Sabres history.
  • Thomas Vanek recorded an assist on Pominville’s goal, giving him his 457th career point and propelling him past Miroslav Satan for 10th-most points in Sabres history.
  • Christian Ehrhoff finished the night with a TOI of 28:28, which was 3:31 more than the next highest Sabres skater. It was the 10th-highest TOI of his career.

Top Quotes

Sabres forward Jason Pominville:

On Mikhail Grigorenko’s first NHL goal: “I think everyone is excited for him, obviously a big goal that tied the game up. He was able to get us that point and it was nice to see him get rewarded and he obviously got the fans going and got the boys going. He worked hard, he deserves to be here and it was nice to see him get rewarded.”

On Buffalo’s defensive play: “I think at times we weren’t good enough. They are a team that is good on the rush and I think we have to try to limit those rush opportunities and not hand them anything … We created more offensively than we did in the past and we have to bear down on some of the opportunities we get and it might be a different game.”

On Mike Brown’s first-period hit on Patrick Kaleta: “Again, this is a tough call. It happened so fast and I don’t want to say anything against the refs either but, I mean, they are in a tough position, but I think obviously from our side we would have hoped more than [the penalty that] was given to [Brown]. [Kaleta]didn’t come back into the game and we lose a key player on our team because of the hit that we felt was from behind, but there’s nothing we can do about it besides kill it off and go back to work. But we got to give credit to [Mike Weber], who stepped in, and so we will take that penalty anytime.”

Sabres defenseman Mike Weber:

On Mikhail Grigorenko’s first NHL goal: “I couldn’t be happier for the kid. He’s got a lot of great potential and, I mean, he’s 18 years old, so I think it’s fair to say we can jump off his back a little bit and let him develop and grow and is he going to be a special player for a lot of years for us.”

Sabres forward Mikhail Grigorenko:

On Toronto’s second goal: “For [Toronto’s second goal], there was one guy against four players with us and the Toronto players came off the bench and then [Toronto’s third goal] there was a three-on-three, I lost my position and they went three-on-two and scored a goal.”

Maple Leafs defenseman Dion Phaneuf:

On the competitiveness of the game: “I think it was a real hard fought game by both teams. They didn’t give  up a whole lot and we didn’t give up a ton either, but I thought it was obviously a huge goal by [Matt Frattin] … But it was a battle. They played hard and they always play extremely hard in this building. They play hard, and I thought we weathered it good.”

On Maple Leafs goaltender James Reimer: “I think [Reimer] is playing really solid for us. Last game, we didn’t give him much help but tonight he was there when we needed him, whenever there was a breakdown, which happens in the game. No game goes through a full 60 or 65 minutes without mistakes and he’s there  to make the saves when we have letdowns and breakdowns. They are going to happen and he was there tonight and that was a huge part of this win for our team.”

On playing at First Niagara Center: “We know that it’s a tough building to play in and we haven’t had a lot of success here, but it feels good to get the win and now we move forward.”

Maple Leafs goaltender James Reimer:

On not playing for a long time: “Anytime you haven’t played for a while, it takes time to get comfortable. Every practice, you get more comfortable and it’s hard to replicate games. There are different situations and there were certain situations that happened today that haven’t happened in the last two games. You learn from them and get better.”

Maple Leafs forward Jay McClement:

On not giving up the lead: “It’s obviously huge for our confidence, but I think we reacted a lot better too tonight when they tied it up. We didn’t shy away from our game, we kept going, kept getting chances so that was good to see us react better.”

On playing with Nikolai Kulemin and Mikhail Grabovski: “It was quite an adjustment to get used to the wing, but those guys make a lot of plays, so I just try to compliment them and get on the forecheck and get a lot of chances.”

On getting his first goal as a Maple Leaf: “It’s always good, feels good to get the first one obviously but it was a lot louder in here than I expected. I’ve never played here with the Leafs so it was fun.”

On playing a bigger role: “We had a couple of our big guys out tonight so its great to see everybody step up and us moving up in the lineup, trying to take advantage of those minutes and wait until they get back, but it’s obviously great to see some guys step up.”

On the Maple Leafs’ reaction to the tied game: Our reaction was better tonight, it was much more mature. I think we learned from the last couple games and got right back to our game after they tied it up and we created chances and kept going on the forecheck and that was a good sign, so hopefully that will be a sign of things to come.

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