The last time the Toronto Maple Leafs won in Buffalo, the Sabres' lineup featured Jochen Hecht, Jordan Leopold and John Scott. In other words, it had been a while -- almost four years.
Frederik Andersen ended the drought Thursday.
Andersen stopped 42 shots, lifting the Leafs to a 2-1 victory in their house of horrors. Toronto's last win in KeyBank Center was Jan. 29, 2013. Buffalo had won seven straight as part of a 17-1-1 run at home against their rivals.
The loss ended the Sabres' winning streak at three games. They are 4-4-2, including 1-3 in Buffalo
Shoot: The Sabres had been averaging 27 shots per game, but they blew by that with four minutes left in the second period. They had a 31-22 edge after two. They topped their season high of 38 when Ryan O'Reilly put a blast into Andersen's glove with 9:01 to play.
Making amends: Sabres left wing Marcus Foligno, beaten on Toronto’s second goal, cut Buffalo’s deficit to 2-1 with six minutes gone in the second. Sam Reinhart sent the puck to the front, where Johan Larsson quickly shuffled it to Foligno. His backhand ended the mastery of Andersen. The shot was Buffalo's first of the period after Toronto opened with seven straight.
Andersen got his revenge on Foligno less than three minutes later, diving across the crease to get a piece of the winger’s open-net blast.
Up by two: Toronto took a 2-0 lead with 1:50 gone in the second. Rookie Mitch Marner scored his second of the night, stealing the puck from Foligno at the top of the crease and quickly depositing it for his third goal of the season.
Striking first: Toronto kicked off the scoring with 4:08 off the clock, finding open areas in the Sabres’ zone. Tyler Bozak skated from behind the net to pass across the crease to Marner for an easy goal. The Sabres were 0-3 when the opponent scored first and 4-0-2 when opening the scoring.
Andersen dynamite: The Maple Leafs took a 1-0 lead into the first intermission thanks to Andersen. He made 15 saves, including a ridiculous stop on Zemgus Girgensons. With the Sabres applying pressure, they passed to a wide-open Girgensons at the right side of the crease. Andersen stuck out his left pad to stop the puck on the goal line, then stopped Girgensons’ rebound chance.
Andersen also made a point-blank stop on Larsson after a turnover in front by Jake Gardiner.
Bogosian injured: Sabres defenseman Zach Bogosian has a sprained medial collateral ligament in his knee and could miss one month. He had been skating 19 minutes per night while playing on the second pair with Dmitry Kulikov.
“We played a good defensive team game, and Zach was a big part of that with Kulikov,” coach Dan Bylsma said. “That’s something we’re going to miss having him out of the lineup.”
Defenseman Casey Nelson, who hadn’t played since the season opener, skated as Kulikov’s partner.
“What he has done in practice and shown in practice is he can be a great first-pass, head-up guy, good offensive hockey instincts from a D-man,” Bylsma said.
The Sabres have six defensemen and will likely recall a seventh Friday before taking a two-game road trip to Ottawa and Boston.
Fasching out: Sabres left wing Hudson Fasching missed his second straight game with a groin injury. He is day-to-day.
Kane closer: Sabres left wing Evander Kane (cracked ribs) hit the three-week mark of his one-month injury Thursday, and he could return next week.
Biron in the booth: Retired Sabres goaltender Martin Biron joined play-by-play man Rick Jeanneret in the broadcast booth and served as the second analyst with Rob Ray. Biron will work the next game in place of Ray, who will be unable to attend.
Counting the house: The Sabres announced 18,183 tickets sold, about 900 shy of a sellout against their biggest rival. More fans elected not to use their seats.
Next: The Sabres will visit Ottawa at 7 p.m. Saturday. Senators goaltender Craig Anderson left the team Thursday to be with his wife, Nicholle, who recently was diagnosed with cancer. The team has no timetable for his return.