NHL Game Summary - Buffalo at Toronto
(Tuesday, February 17th)
Final Score: Buffalo 4, Toronto 1
Toronto, ON (Sports Network) - Drew Stafford scored twice on the power play to lead the Buffalo Sabres to a 4-1 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs at Air Canada Centre.
Daniel Paille and Matt Ellis also scored for the Sabres, who have won two of their last three games and will conclude their brief two-game road trip on Thursday against the Flyers. Ryan Miller made 27 saves in the victory.
"I thought we had our legs from the start tonight," said Stafford. "We asserted ourselves, locked it down and stuck to our system."
Pavel Kubina scored the only goal for the Maple Leafs, who fell to 2-3-2 in February. Justin Pogge allowed four goals on 30 shots in the losing effort.
After Stafford's unassisted power-play tally -- a turnaround wrister from the slot -- at 12:40 of the first period, Buffalo made it 2-0 less than two minutes later. Tim Connolly held control of the puck on the right side and centered it for Paille, who lit the lamp from in front at the 14:19 mark.
With 2:16 remaining in the first stanza, Ellis' fifth goal of the season -- a shot that beat Pogge from in close along the right side -- pushed the Buffalo advantage to three.
"We came out hard in the first period, but we made a couple of mistakes that ended up in the back of our net," said Toronto's Luke Schenn. "Next thing we knew, we looked up at the scoreboard and we're down by three goals."
The Sabres nearly made it 4-0 with 1:49 left as the puck deflected off the chest of Jason Pominville, who was streaking to the net. The disc caromed across the goal line just as the net was dislodged, but after a replay the call of no goal remained.
Toronto cut its deficit to 3-1 at 7:28 of the second period with a power-play goal by Kubina. With Toni Lydman in the penalty box, the Leafs worked the puck around their offensive zone until Jason Blake held control along the goal line to the right of the net. Blake then sent a pass through the crease for Kubina, who easily tapped home a one-timer from the left post.
The scoring was capped by Stafford's second goal of the game and 17th of the season 7:37 into the final frame. The Sabres were on the power play after an interference call on Kubina. A blast from above the left circle was saved by Pogge, but the rebound sat loose in the crease before Stafford tucked it home on the backhand from the left post.
Toronto fell to 10-11-6 at home this season...This marked the fifth consecutive victory by the Sabres in Toronto...Buffalo was 2-for-4 on the power play, while the Leafs ended 1-for-2 with the extra skater.
02/17 22:49:31 ET