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NHL Game Summary - Toronto at Buffalo



(Thursday, March 16th)

Final Score: Buffalo 3, Toronto 1

Buffalo, NY (Sports Network) - Chris Drury had two goals and an assist and Ryan Miller made 27 saves as the Buffalo Sabres handed the Montreal Canadiens a 3-1 defeat at HSBC Arena.

Mike Grier netted the other goal for the surging Sabres, who have won their last eight games and with 93 points trail Ottawa by only one for first place in the Northeast Division.

The Sabres travel to Ottawa for a showdown on Saturday.

Mats Sundin had the lone goal and Mikael Tellqvist stopped 30 shots for the Maple Leafs, who had a two-game winning streak snapped and still trail Montreal by five points for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

Toronto has not missed the playoffs since the 1997-98 season.

The Maple Leafs trailed 1-0 heading into the final period, but they evened the game up with a power-play goal early in the final session.

Jason Allison had the puck down low on the left side and got it to Sundin in the left circle. Sundin then let loose with a shot that squeezed between Miller's right arm and body 4:33 in.

However Buffalo took a 2-1 lead on a nice individual effort by Grier. He got the puck at the Maple Leafs' blue line, slid the disc between the legs of Aki Berg and skated on net. From the low slot, Grier then flicked a shot on net that Tellqvist made a save on, but he got his own rebound and put it past the outstretched left pad of the goaltender with 11:46 left.

"I made a good save on the first one and he got it right back on his stick," said Tellqvist. "He got a little lucky on that one I think."

Toronto received a golden opportunity when Drury received a double-minor for high sticking with 6:30 to play. But the Buffalo penalty kill did an outstanding job keeping the Leafs to the outside, and the one chance Toronto had came on a Darcy Tucker one-timer from in front of the net. However, Miller came up with a sprawling save to preserve the lead.

The Maple Leafs again got a chance when Buffalo's Dimitri Kalinin was called for delay-of-game after shooting the puck into the crowd with 1:11 to play. They pulled their goaltender for a 6-on-4 advantage.

But after a Leafs point shot that Miller made a save on, Drury cleared the puck out of his zone and it went into the open net with 59 seconds left to seal the win.

"It was a tight game compared to the last few we played," said Drury. "We found a way to get the pucks to the net, get it in. Ryan Miller played great. Just a good all around effort and a good win."

It was a quick end-to-end first period, but neither team was able to get on the scoreboard. The Sabres outshot the Maple Leafs, 10-6.

Buffalo got on the scoreboard with a power play in the second. Daniel Briere had the puck at the left circle and skated into the slot, drawing two Maple Leafs to him. This allowed Drury to get open at the bottom of the left circle.

Briere fed the puck to Drury, who one-timed it into the net 8:32 in.

Game Notes

The Maple Leafs travel to New York for a game against the Rangers on Saturday...A Buffalo goal in the second period was called off due to the puck being deflected by a high stick...Buffalo center Jochen Hecht left in the second period with a knee injury and did not return...Sabres forward Ales Kotalik had one assist in the contest and extended his point streak to six games, having tallied three goals and five assists during the tear...The goal was Grier's seventh of the year. Four of them have been game-winners.

03/17 00:25:06 ET


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