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NHL Game Summary - Toronto at Buffalo



(Friday, November 11th)

Final Score: Buffalo 5, Toronto 2

Buffalo, NY (Sports Network) - Tim Connolly scored two goals and Martin Biron made 27 saves as the Buffalo Sabres defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs, 5-2, at HSBC Arena.

Chris Drury and Mike Grier tallied a goal each and defenseman Dmitri Kalinin had two assists for Buffalo, which snapped a four-game losing streak.

Alexander Steen and Eric Lindros scored goals and Ed Belfour stopped 25 of 29 shots for Toronto, which lost for the second time in three games.

Buffalo scored three unanswered third-period goals to break a 2-2 tie.

The Sabres went up by one 6:44 into the third period after Connolly controlled the puck at center ice, gained the offensive zone, skated around defenseman Ken Klee and beat Belfour short side with a backhand.

"I got caught flatfooted. The kid (Connolly) made a helluva move," said Klee. "Not only did he make a great move on me, obviously to go to your backhand. I don't know if you could have a tighter angle. He made a helluva shot."

The Sabres extended their lead to 4-2 with 2:58 left in the contest after Grier swept a backhand shot over a fallen Belfour. Drury blasted a slap shot from the right point but Belfour made a kick save. Grier picked up the loose puck on the doorstep and easily beat Belfour.

Thomas Vanek added an empty-net power-play goal with 12 seconds remaining to make it 5-2.

The Sabres drew first blood with 6:46 left in the first period after Connolly flipped a shot on goal from just beyond the right circle that found it's way through Belfour's five-hole for the 1-0 lead.

"We've had a tough go the past few games," said Connolly. "The guys have been working through, we've had some tough practices. We've been on the ice a couple hours at a time. It worked out for us."

Toronto tied the game while on the power play 4:24 into the second period when Steen scored into an open net after Biron wandered from the crease to play the puck behind his own net. Mats Sundin intercepted Biron's pass along the boards and immediately fed the puck cross ice to Steen, who was camped alone on the side of the net.

The Sabres re-gained the lead midway through the second period after Drury beat Belfour with a diving shot from the slot for a 2-1 lead. On the power play, Jochen Hecht attempted to pass the puck across the crease but it was poke-checked by Belfour out to Drury in the slot.

The Maple Leafs would tie things up with 4:47 left in the second period after Lindros chipped a shot past Biron. Chad Kilger passed the puck out of the left corner to the slot where Lindros one-timed it past a sprawled out Biron to make it a 2-2 game.

Game Notes

The Sabres snapped a four-game home skid...The Maple Leafs fell to 2-4-1 on the road, while the Sabres improved to 5-4-0 at home...Buffalo went 3-2-1 against Toronto during the 2003-04 season. However, the road team is 4-1-1 in the last six meetings...The Sabres activated defenseman Toni Lydman from the injured list Friday. Lydman, who tallied an assist, hadn't played since he hurt his groin in a game against the Devils on October 28...Buffalo right winger Maxim Afinogenov missed his first game of the season Friday because of bruised ribs...Buffalo finished 2-for-7 on the power play, while Toronto was 1-for-3.

11/12 00:43:36 ET


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