NHL Game Summary - Toronto at Buffalo
(Saturday, February 5th)
Final Score: Buffalo 6, Toronto 2
Buffalo, NY (Sports Network) - Drew Stafford scored twice and added an assist, helping the Buffalo Sabres to another win against the Toronto Maple Leafs, this one a 6-2 rout at HSBC Arena.
Thomas Vanek totaled a goal and two assists for the Sabres, who have won 13 of the last 14 meetings with the Leafs. They have also won seven consecutive games against Toronto in Buffalo.
Ryan Miller stopped 23-of-25 shots in the Sabres' third win in their last four games, and explained his team's dominance of Toronto.
"I guess just 'cause the media's told me the record and they make a little bit of hype out of it," Miller said. "It mainly has to do with the fact that we really don't want their fans to have a fun time coming to Buffalo."
James Reimer, Toronto's rookie goaltender, let in five goals on 30 shots before being lifted for Jean-Sebastien Giguere, who made 12 saves the rest of the way.
Francois Beauchemin and Nikolai Kulemin scored as the Leafs had their two-game win streak broken.
Buffalo took control by scoring the game's first four goals. The Sabres got their first only 3:31 into the opening period, after fighting to keep the puck in the zone. Vanek gained control and pushed a backhand pass across the slot, and after the puck hit the stick of a Toronto defender, Jason Pominville slapped it by Reimer.
A little more than two minutes later, with the Sabres on a power play, Toronto turned the puck over in its own zone. Jordan Leopold sent a sharp pass from above the right circle to the left of the crease for Stafford, who one-timed it in.
Paul Gaustad netted his seventh goal of the season 4:19 into the second period to give Buffalo a 3-0 lead. Nearly three minutes later, the Sabres were back on the power play and took advantage of a lack of Maple Leafs defenders close to the net. Only Luke Schenn stood in front of Reimer, allowing Vanek to feed Tim Connolly for the score.
Kulemin's shorthanded tally at the 8:50 mark of the second period put Toronto on the board, but Stafford got the goal back later in the frame. Reimer played the rest of the period before Giguere replaced him at the start of the third.
Beauchemin scored with a little more than seven minutes left, but the deficit was too much for Toronto to overcome. Vanek had an unassisted goal at 16:43.
Miller improved to 24-8 with a 2.18 GAA in his career against Toronto...The teams' next meeting is on February 16...Stafford recorded his third three- point game of the season, and Vanek his second.
02/05 23:32:51 ET