In their final matchup of the season, the Buffalo Sabres failed to win the season series with their division rival from down the QEW, falling to the Toronto Maple Leafs 5-2.
Five observations from Monday's loss:
Turning things around
In a season full of failures, Sam Reinhart deserves some serious credit for turning things around. With his 24th goal on Monday, Reinhart set a new career high with 48 points in a season. When you consider that he had only 11 points before the new year, that's quite the turnaround.
Sam Reinhart has a new career best with 48 points in a season #Sabres
— Matthew Bové (@Matt_Bove) April 3, 2018
For those curious what the breakdown looks like:
Reinhart first 38 games: 11 points
Reinhart last 41 games: 37 points
This about sums up the season... pic.twitter.com/bCwiqqlz2e
— The Charging Buffalo (@TheChargingBUF) April 3, 2018
William Nylander's first goal of the night is the perfect example. The Sabres allowed Nylander to streak right down the middle of the ice uncovered, while Marco Scandella and Justin Falk tried playing catch-up. It didn't work and once again Chad Johnson was left out to dry.
Second period blues
How many times have we said this season that a bad second period cost the Sabres? The was once again the case on Monday, as Buffalo saw a 1-1 tie turn into a 4-1 deficit heading into the final frame.
Not his best outing
Last week when the Sabres and Maple Leafs faced-off, Chad Johnson was one of the best players on the ice, if not the best. This time around Johnson received little defensive help but allowed five goals, not two (last Monday). He absolutely doesn't deserve all the blame but didn't have his best game, either.
Three games left
With the loss, the Sabres have only three games left this season. On Wednesday they'll play the Senators in the final home game of the season. If the Sabres lose, they'll finish in last place, regardless of what happens in the final two games.