Toronto Maple Leafs
February 6, 2011 by staff
Toronto Maple Leafs, (CP) – Drew Stafford fact that Buffalo would not let another lead slip. Stafford scored two goals and added an assist, Thomas Vanek scored a goal and two assists, Ryan Miller finished with 23 saves to lift the Sabres to a 6-2 victory over the Maple Leafs on Saturday night.
The dominant victory came 24 hours after Buffalo squandered a two-goal lead in a 3-2 loss to Pittsburgh on Friday.
“It was the same kind of game, but we’ve kept ‘er over and scored more goals,” said Stafford, who restored the Sabres’ four-goal lead with his second of the night meter.
This score was just over five minutes after the goal short-handed Nikolai Kulemin was 4-1 with 11:10 left in the second period.
“We have abandoned this shorty, and that kind of evil, but the main thing is that I think we learned our lesson.”
Surging Sabres pulled within five points of eighth place in the Eastern Conference. Both Atlanta and Carolina have 58 points, while Buffalo is 10th place with 53.
“I have already said that if we want to get into the playoffs, we must ensure that we deserve to go and do the right things to get the win,” said Vanek. “I think we in Pittsburgh sort of just sat back and let them take the game to us.”
Jason Pominville, Paul Gaustad and Tim Connolly also scored for the Sabres, who improved to 10-4-1 in 15 games in their past.
Miller made his 28th consecutive start for Buffalo, which won its seventh straight at home against Toronto. It has rarely been tested, but it came with a great stop with his right skate in Toronto when Phil Kessel pass quickly went into a partial breakaway at 14 1 / 2 minutes into the second period and the Sabres 3-0 before.
“Ryan has been there all year for us,” said Vanek. “When a registration should be done, he did.”
Francois Beauchemin also scored, and rookie James Reimer has allowed five goals on 30 shots before being taken after two periods for the Maple Leafs, who had their two series wins broken.
Reimer stood his first career shutout in the NHL on Thursday against Carolina. Jean-Sebastien Giguere, who gave a goal on 13 shots over the final 20 minutes, noted it.
“I had a good game the other night and got the rebounds, but tonight I need to get a couple more saves, and I did not get the bounces,” said Reimer. “It’s a difficult question, but such cases. Everyone and me must be just a little better. ”
Toronto lost for the fifth consecutive time on the road after having won five consecutive season-high away from home.
“I can not really pinpoint what it is, the defender Luke Schenn said of ailments from Toronto to buffalo. “For some reason we never seem to play well here. It’s pretty frustrating.”
Down 5-1 after two periods, the Maple Leafs cut it to 5-2 on the goal of Beauchemin with 7:21 left.
Vanek capped the scoring with his 19th top team of the season with 3:17 to go.
Leading by two goals after the first period, Buffalo pushed its lead to 3-0 on Gaustad seventh of the season when he smashed in a shot from the right circle at 4:19 of the second.
Connolly then allowed 4-0 with a powerplay goal just less than three minutes later before Kulemin scored Toronto’s first goal of the game.
Stafford scored his second of the game, and 17th of the season with 5:38 left in the second with a wrist shot from the slot to 5-1.
The Sabres struck first just 3:31 into the game when Pominville scored his 12th of the season. After graduating with a backhand pass into the slot of Vanek, Pominville wristed a shot into the top right corner to give the Sabres a 1-0 lead.
Stafford made it 2-0 on the power play just under six minutes into a timed He spends Jordan Leopold’s Cross-Ice left circle.
“We were able to capitalize on our chances on the power play,” said Stafford. “We were about as close to an all-around effort of 60 minutes that we’ve had from time to time.”
Notes: The Sabres improved to 29-9-1 against Toronto in 2005-06. … The Leafs have the newest Maple win in Buffalo was Dec. 12, 2008. … The Sabres have killed 37 straight penalties against Toronto dating back to March 2009. … Miller’s career high for consecutive starts is 34, set in the 2007-08 season. … Toronto Buffalo dominated by a margin of 11-1 over the first 10 minutes of first half, but were outscored 9-1 over the last 10 minutes of frame.
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