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NHL Game Summary - Buffalo at Toronto

(Saturday, April 1st)

Final Score: Toronto 7, Buffalo 0

Toronto, ON (Sports Network) - Nik Antropov scored twice and Jean-Sebastien Aubin made 24 saves for his first shutout of the season, as the Toronto Maple Leafs easily defeated the struggling Buffalo Sabres, 7-0, at Air Canada Centre.

Alexei Ponikarovsky scored a goal and added two assists for the Maple Leafs, who have won three in a row and five of their last seven overall. Matt Stajan had a goal and an assist.

Mats Sundin and Alex Steen each contributed two helpers for Toronto, which is still on the outside looking in at the Eastern Conference playoff race with 76 points and trails Tampa Bay by seven points for the eighth spot with only nine games remaining.

"You have to keep sharp in this type of game," said Aubin. "When you score five goals like that, it can be hard to stay in the game. The guys played so hard in front of me though. As a goaltender, you appreciate an effort like that."

Ryan Miller started in goal and allowed three goals on six shots in the first period before being replaced by Martin Biron, who allowed two goals on six shots. Miller re-entered the game at the start of the second period and ended the contest with 12 saves.

Despite losing two straight and eight of its last nine games overall, Buffalo is still holding down the fourth spot in the playoff race with a six-point lead over fifth-place Philadelphia in the East.

Toronto stormed out of the gate scoring four goals in the first seven minutes of the contest.

Jeff O'Neill started the barrage for the Leafs scoring just 2:05 into the game. From the left half wall, Steen centered the puck to O'Neill in the slot and his wrister beat Miller low on the glove side.

At the 4:49 mark, Ian White kept a clearing attempt in the zone at the right point and fired a wrister on net that hit off a Buffalo defenseman in front and grazed off Miller's blocker and into the net for a 2-0 edge.

Thirty-nine seconds after White's goal, tough guy Tie Domi made it a 3-0 game with his fifth goal of the season. Domi's tally chased Miller from the game as Biron replaced him.

Less than a minute after Miller was replaced, the Maple Leafs promptly greeted Biron with a goal as Antropov deflected Sundin's slap shot from the high slot for a commanding 4-0 lead.

Antropov's ninth tally of the season pushed the Toronto lead to 5-0 with 4:40 remaining in the first period.

After a scoreless middle session, Ponikarovsky's 19th goal of the season made it a 6-0 game 4:43 into the final frame. The onslaught continued midway through the third as Stajan netted a power-play goal.

Game Notes

The Maple Leafs improved to 22-12-2 on home ice this season...White's goal was his first career tally in the NHL. He also picked up an assist...Aubin has won three straight and his shutout was the seventh of his career...Domi's goal was his first tally in the last 22 games...The Sabres dropped to 21-13-3 as the visitor this season...Both teams square off in Toronto on Monday.

04/01 22:01:05 ET

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